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Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly community roundup.
In UKBF Stories this week, Francois Badenhorst looked at what the major political parties are promising for small businesses in the upcoming election. On the forums, the community discussed TV adverts, the value of Just Eat and whether Theresa May really wants to win.
Here are my top picks for this week:
Burgerkitchen, General Business
Burgerkitchen is starting a new gourmet burger delivery service, building his own website with a mobile-friendly ordering app and leafleting the local community to market the service.
He is, however, weighing up the pros and cons of using Just Eat. While he’s heard mixed views about them, he’s looking for insights on how much business they send.
“I've heard some people pay £699+ VAT upfront and a big commission on each order. So is it really worth it?”
ecommerce84: Am I the only one who finds Just Eat a bit pointless? I'm usually someone who likes to have the latest apps, but it's just never appealed and I'd rather the takeaway got the full amount, rather than paying a percentage to a (what I perceive as) pointless middle man.
Xtm_Mike: I got friendly with one takeaway I found on Just Eat and after a few visits, they told me to start ordering over the phone as it's cheaper and I'd get something for free if my order hit a certain value. It's something they don't offer through the app. I guess they use Just Eat to get customers, then try to push regulars to use the phone to avoid paying commission.
Chris Ashdown: Most deliveries of fast food are limited to, say, a five-mile area, so a website and local advertising is probably the best route to go.
With an increasing number of customers abroad, cs73 is considering investing in .nl, .de, .fr domains for his online business.
Has anyone had their websites translated for the same reason, he asks, and has this been successful in growing your international business?
fisicx: I had a client do this. They had a multisite setup and subdomains for each country. Worked like a dream. They even had agents in each country looking after the local sites.
Jayser100: We're just doing this at the moment and we've recently launched French and German sites. I have what I need from my translators but having the time to put it in is the problem!
Maryna: I have a translation business, and I can say that translation (localisation of the websites) really works. More than a half of internet users would prefer to work (shop or sell) with the localised websites.
Social whizzed, Sales, Marketing & PR
Social whizzed recently started a social media management company with a focus on content creation. He’s curious about what business owners think about using an external company to manage their social media: would you be open to the idea or do you prefer to handle social media yourself?
NewGardenStyle: Perhaps you need to reframe or rephrase what you are doing. It sounds like you are more focused on providing specific types of content than social media management. So you need to target businesses that are looking for that type of content, rather than just startups. The more specific you can be about who you are targeting the better.
webgeek: Social media marketing is about a number of things: building a following of potential clients or influencers or both, being found via social search. being seen by your followers so that they react to or share your content, extending the reach of your onsite content posting and getting search engine validation that your brand is a real one by having a dynamic presence.
Visuals can help this, sure. Video is great for B2C but often a non-starter for B2B, unless it's captioned and displays the text so that it's understandable when audio is turned off.
The Byre: Social media is not like TV advertising, YouTube or putting up posters in the subway. It is about connecting to your audience or customers. Whether it is a full-blown forum for a major piece of software or just a Twitter account, it is the act of a company insider – sometimes the CEO or similar bigwig – connecting with the customer, listening to the customer and talking directly to the customer. The whole object of social media in business is to create a direct link between someone inside the company and someone inside the household.
Simon Baker, General Business
After Simon noticed two employees struggling to do data entry on a collection of business cards, he wonders why QR codes – or, as he puts it, scannable tech – aren’t more popular.
Ashley_Price: QR codes don't seem to have taken off that well in this country. To scan the code, the person would need a specific app and if they are trying to download that app in a venue with poor signal or no wifi (yes, they do still exist) then it's pointless.
MikeJ: I use camcard. Not perfect, but pretty good.
Frazer Lloyd-Davies: If it isn't broken, don't fix it. I can't see the shortcoming of current business cards if I'm honest. As long as your business card isn't a quirky shape and can fit in my pocket and wallet easily, I'm happy. We don't have to use technology simply because it exists.
That's all for this week - enjoy the sunshine, folks!