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It’s not what you sell…

It’s HOW you sell it that matters!

Today I read an article on BBC website about a new frozen yoghurt business set up in London called Snog. It’s the usual tale of a group of guys who gave up their (already successful) day jobs to run their own business and lo and behold – they’ve got themselves a huge deal with a multinational who are going to sell their products.

But it got me to thinking about why this chain is any different to others I see on the high street. Looking at the one image of the flourescent store the crowd of hip young people I noticed something – it’s not what you sell that matters, but more about how you sell it. In business, as in most areas of life, visuals and how something looks influences what you think about it, and how you react to it.

I don’t think this means we are superficial and judge based solely on how something looks. Instead it just means that we use visual cues to determine if something is of value or not. And obviously when you are looking at something it will be the visual cues that you see first! So what does this mean for you? Here are my thoughts:

Packaging and presentation

frozen-yoghurt-snogWhether it’s your business, your product / service, or even you – think about how you are presenting. Think about your target audience, what do they expect? Are you going to match their expectations, or maybe even challenge them? In terms of your online business the great thing is that even if you are a small company you can have a fantastic, high-quality website and give the impression that you are bigger and more successful than you are. It’s not about lying, it’s about packaging yourself in such a way as to say: we are reaching for the top and we’re serious about this.

Live and breathe it

Another thing that stood out for me in the article is the quotes from the owners about their philoshopy, their personal lives and their background. Now in reality this might just be some marketing spin – but why do that? Well as this brilliant video about How great leaders inspire action shows it’s the WHY that is important. In essence what the video explains is you shouldn’t just churn out a list of features and products and services. Instead you need to first give the WHY you are doing it. If people buy into you / your philosophy / your attitude then there is a greater chance they will buy into your products and services.

Brand identity

Following on from the previous point what I also see in this article is the emergence of a brand. Calling the business Snog and the way it’s all presented is as much to make the product sexy and youthful as much as anything else. If they’d called it Cold Frozen Yoghurt maybe it wouldn’t have that same appeal. So you need to think about what your brand conjures up in the minds of people. Is it budget or luxury? Is it young or old? Is it simple or complex?

The High Street

Finally, another thing this article said to me is how cool things are happening in Soho, London. This wasn’t an article about a new shop in West Brom or Dudley High Street. The truth is, cool things don’t happen in those places. Now this isn’t mean to knock West Brom / Dudley etc. But instead it’s supposed to show that as so many high street stores are closing down and being replaced by the same generic brands we need to ask where are the new faces, the new youthful stores which a new generation of shopper can identify with?

When you look at how shops on the high street are packaged and presented compared to their online rivals or even shops in the malls then it’s obvious why they lose out. They just don’t look as good or as enticing. Most High streets are dull, boring, unsafe, grey etc etc. When you look at the philosophy of the shopkeepers or the brands in these places then it’s evident they are nowhere near as strong as what you see online. And I think this is why local businesses are not hitting the right buttons.

If you know of any local success stories I’d love to hear from you. And maybe if you want to discuss how StudioRav can work with your business to develop it then get in touch too!

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BPP Media Screenshot

StudioRav appear in BPP Media Edition 46

It’s turning out to be a very busy Summer here at StudioRav and to take hold of that momentum I’ve decided to take an ad out in the latest edition of BPP Media magazine. It’s a free glossy magazine distributed throughout the UK and I’m combining it with the recent Grow your business campaign with StudioRav.

The ad appears on page 29 supporting TradeMagic and wishing them well for the future! This proves StudioRavs commitment to supporting its clients through various media as well as the ambition to keep growing and developing as a business! It is hoped the new ad will grab the attention of key decision makers across the UK who want to develop their companies image online and give them a headstart over their competitors.

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My favourite plugin for moving WordPress installations

Note: This post is actually an update to my previous post about moving and restoring WordPress installations.

I often develop WordPress-based websites on my own servers but if you decide to go with your own hosting then be aware that the entire website needs to be moved over. This is a little more complicated that moving static html pages mainly because WordPress uses a MySQL database which needs to be copied and updated in accordance with new server details.

So, after a few trial runs I can say that Duplicator is my favourite plugin for doing this. It’s VERY easy to use and very effective too – you can clone WordPress sites, archive them, and re-install them somewhere else.

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StudioRav offering 5% discount over Euro NetStart quotes!

If you’re looking around for the best website deal around Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Wolverhampton and Worcester area then remember that StudioRav are offering a 5% discount against any like for like website design quote from Euro NetStart.

Whether it’s a website for your restaurant or takeaway, your dentistry, or your local business then let StudioRav help save you money and time. We are committed to providing a better service than our competitors and this 5% webdesign discount is available to anyone who has a quote from Euro Netstart.

When you work with StudioRav we can offer you a service which is tailored to suit you:

  • Custom payment terms to help you
  • A working demo before you spend any money
  • We can meet you at your home / office to discuss
  • FREE lifetime technical support
  • You can contact us any time of day
  • FREE honest, impartial feedback and website guidance
  • Custom payment terms including monthly and annual plans

So if you’ve got a quote from Euro Netstart and want to shop around then speak to us too on 07807 997 010! We agree to beat their quote by at least 5% and we’re confident you’ll be saving more than just money.

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Grow your business

If you’re interested in growing your business then StudioRav are an affordable, intelligent solution. We are flexible, easy to work with and look to work together on your terms.

It’s your job to develop your business: grow market share, increase the company profile and get more sales. As the economy becomes stronger the opportunity is there so it’s not time to take it!

Get in touch with StudioRav and we’ll work with you to develop your company profile online – a modern website at a fantastic price.

Some of the things we provide:

  • Modern websites which look great on mobiles and tablets
  • Flyers, posters, invoices, banners, ads
  • SEO and advice on how to get your site noticed
  • eCommerce and selling online
  • Emails, domains, hosting
  • Lifetime tech support

Get in touch to discuss your requirements and how we can help grow your business.

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Easter at StudioRav!

Just a quick update to anyone looking for cheap website design in Birmingham or the Black Country! I’m working hard on a few projects, hoping to complete them soon so if you are interested in getting a website for your business or personal project then get in touch today! I’m happy to discuss the project with you and offer my free, impartial advice. I’m also happy to go over things like what sort of pages you need, aim and direction of the website, SEO advice and functionality.

Sometimes making the transition online can be difficult but if you are serious about getting a website designed for your business then all you need to do is pick up the phone and talk to me. I like to think that I can help you out in simple, non-technical English and at the same time offer good advice concerning your website. Some other things I can help you out with are:

  • Artwork and designs for flyers, invoices, brochures
  • Other graphics such as logos, banners and ads
  • Setting up Analytics and Webmaster accounts for SEO/SEM purposes
  • Help with webhosting and emails
  • Hardware / tech support
  • Video, promotional items, email marketing and Adwords

So if you want website design with the bells and whistles OR just no-nonsense website design then get in touch with me and let’s see how I can help you!

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StudioRav Go’s Cardless!

After listening to feedback from some clients StudioRav now offer direct debits as a new way to take payments. It’s fast, easy and saves time for the client and developer.

I know how busy you are, and I am the same. So after careful consideration I’ve finally taken the plunge and signed up with GoCardless who are a London based company offering easy set up of direct debits. It means that I can now set up either monthly or annual payment cycles with clients and the rest is automatic.

So why do I want to use direct debits?

  • No more time wasted chasing outstanding payments
  • You don’t have to listen to me constantly asking for money owed
  • Payment is automatic so you don’t have to waste time transferring money into my account
  • You can now spread the cost of your website through the year

What can you pay for using direct debit?

I’m primarily focusing on hosting and domains for the direct debits as it’s quite common to have a monthly or annual fee for this service. However, I will also be rolling out website design on monthly contracts and marketing and newsletter services.

If you’d like to discuss your options and whether paying by direct debit is suitable for you then please give me a call on 07807 997 010 or send me an email.

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Open your online shop in 2014!

Internet shopping continues to grow in strength each year. Christmas has proven that people are just as likely to order presents for their loved ones from Amazon, eBay and Firebox as from Marks and Spencers and John Lewis. Even the big supermarket brands are fighting for dominance in the online world. So how do you get onto the online stage and starting selling?

It’s actually not as difficult as you may think. The most important thing is having a desire to do well and being realistic about what you have to do. eCommerce is the name commonly given to selling goods online. The great thing about the internet is you can sell anything from physical goods, music, files and even information.

What are you selling?

Ok first question is to be sure about what you’re selling. Once you know this you can do some research and look at who else is selling it and how (trust me, there will always be someone else doing it). Try to look at what they are doing and their strengths/weaknesses. Next think about who you are selling to and what they would want from your shop and products.

Think about your brand

Shoppers prefer to buy online from a trusted brand. So think of a strong brand which people will be able to identify and tell their friends and family about. Think about who it will appeal to (young / old, men / women etc).

How will you sell?

The simple example is people will find your goods on your website, add them to a shopping cart, pay for it and then you ship out. If you sell other things such as music or files then obviously they will download them instead of post. You could also ask people to collect from your shop if the items are bulky.

How will your customers pay?

Your customers can pay cash on delivery such as in the case of a food business. The most popular way is by debit / credit card – in which case you will need an account with a payment provider such as SagePay or PaymentSense. There are usually fees involved with this. Another popular method is via PayPal so you’ll need to set this up, but be aware there may still be some fees to pay.

Any additional charges for your customers?

It’s important to remember things like postage and packaging, VAT, shipping costs or anything else which you will need to pass on to your customer. If you fail to take these into account then you may end up paying for them in the long term.

Dealing with orders

An important aspect of selling online is you can get an order at any time of day. So you need to have a plan as to how you deal with incoming orders. For example, it is most likely you will get an email when someone orders. What then? If you’re selling a physical item you will need to get it, package it, prepare it for posting and then actually post it. This takes time and money. Think about if you had to do this every hour.

What about faulty goods / returns?

It’s very important to consider how you deal with faulty goods and returns. Many people feel comfortable buying from sites where there are money back guarantees and free returns available. This helps build trust with your customer. Making the whole process easy for them (and you) is always a good idea. Buying goods online automatically gives your customers protection under distance selling regulations.

Show great customer service

Selling online is all about building trust with the customer without having a chance to talk to them or sit with them. So show them – customer feedback, reviews, money back guarantees and promises all give your customers more reason to trust your site and brand.

Join the information age!

Finally, if you haven’t already – get a smartphone with access to email! If you have email wherever you go, then you can view your orders, and also customer queries quickly and easily. Reacting quickly to orders and emails shows great customer service and will keep people coming back for more.

Have a great looking website!

Finally, if you’re going to sell online then obviously you need a great website to do it from. At StudioRav we can set up your site for you including things like making it responsive (so it can be viewed on tablets and mobile phones) and having all kinds of functionality such as sorting, galleries, feedback forms, shopping carts etc. All you need to do is have good images and product descriptions which can add on. These last two things are very important so if you do have any problems with this then let us know right from the start!

So if you are serious about selling online and want to take a share of the online shopping pie then contact StudioRav.

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StudioRav 5% cheaper than NC Design & Print!

If you’re looking around for the best website deal around West Bromwich and Birmingham area then bear in mind that StudioRav are offering a 5% discount against any like for like webdesign quote from NC Design & Print. We believe we offer a webdesign service which rivals them in terms of quality, price and longevity.

When you work with StudioRav we can offer you a service which is tailored to suit you:

  • Custom payment terms to help you
  • A working demo before you spend any money
  • We can meet you at your home / office to discuss
  • FREE lifetime technical support
  • You can contact us any time of day
  • FREE honest, impartial feedback and website guidance

So if you’ve got a quote from NC Design and Print and want to shop around then speak to us too on 07807 997 010! We agree to beat their quote by at least 5% and we’re confident you’ll be saving more than just money.

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15% Discounts for Referrals

If you’re looking to work with StudioRav we’re now offering discounts for referrals. A great way to get an even bigger saving on your new website!

Please note this offer is open to all new customers: we are now offering a 15% discount off your website if you can provide a referral at the time of your order. Simply refer a friend or someone you know who is also looking for a website and if they work with StudioRav too you will receive a 15% discount off your quote! Just get in touch to take advantage of this offer.

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