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Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by designhull, Oct 20, 2010.

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  1. designhull

    designhull UKBF Newcomer

    33 6
    Hi Guys,

    My Name is Lewis, the managing Director of Design Hull LTD.

    We have over 15 years of combined experience but we are a new company.

    I was just wondering if any of you guys have some tips with regards getting a new company recognised.

    We are based in Hull, East Yorkshire. We offer a wide range of services, when it comes to eCommerce (Magento Development) we don't think there is anyone that can match us.

    I just purchaed advertising on Yell.com which is costing me £900 per year and I rank 3rd-4th under web design in hull and web design in east yorkshire.

    Traffic is poor with only 11 unique visitors in the past 10 days.

    I was wondering if offering half price services if the client gives a review would work. I was thinking of offering a 50-60% discount for 4-5 people only on all of my magento eCommerce development packages, which is basically setting up the full solution and adding products for clients.

    Would this be something that could work? We can do anything, and we are very good at what we do, i'm just struggling to bring in the sales at the moment.

    Any tips for startup companies, I would of course really appreciate.

    Thanks guys,

    Design Hull LTD
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: designhull Member since: Oct 11, 2010
    #1
  2. LicensedToTrade

    LicensedToTrade Contributor

    6,297 2,138
    Hey there Lewis,

    I'm not sure how you think offering a 50% to customers who provide a review will increase your daily unique visitors. I don't know what your conversion rate is, but it would seem that your service offering isn't the issue, your awareness is. You can offer a 99% discount on your website, but if nobody visits to see it, how would they ever know?

    You think you are great at what you do, that's good but obviously I would expect you to say that. What do your previous/existing clients think of you? Have you carried out comprehensive questionnaires to identify any areas that need improvement?

    What are the limitations of your service? It strikes me as a little concerning that a company that claims to be unbeaten in the field of ecommerce is unable to get more than 11 unique visitors per week to their own site, do your customers fair any better than you do?
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: LicensedToTrade Member since: Nov 7, 2009
    #2
  3. Newcott

    Newcott Contributor

    1,438 303
    Hi Lewis -

    Welcome!

    I'm keen to keep an eye on this as a new(ish) myself and keen to build up a reputiation.

    A few things recently helped is
    a) being on here I've noticed a increase in visiters.
    b) LinkedIn getting a healthy ammount a day
    c) general online forum partaking - being part of the community.

    Offline I've just paid for an advert in a Golf club magazine for my wedding photography - the club in question holds alot of receptions so look at specific and relevant areas to advertise.

    Currently I'm looking at options of joining the local chamber of commerce & further paid advertising - PPC on Google is next.

    Finaly listen to the people on here - some great people who are very experienced and knowledgable so worth picking their brains :)
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: Newcott Member since: Jul 9, 2010
    #3
  4. Clinton

    Clinton Contributor

    5,223 2,398
    Rather than discounts, I would look at adding value.

    What information would your customers find most useful? Can you provide it to them in the form of free articles? You say Magento Development. Does your target customer even know what that is? Would they be able to use guidance you've written comparing ecommerce packages? How about a series telling them how to choose a developer, good questions to ask before hiring services over the internet, how a long term relationship with a developer beats a short cut and shut contract?

    You could participate in forums where your customers hang out - both online and offline - and answer questions, provide help.

    These are the activities that build your credibility must faster than huge sums spent on advertising.

    Once you've got that in place, I would humbly suggest that PPC may be a better option than the Yellow Pages if you have a limited ad budget and want to make the most of it. Wouldn't your typical customer be the type who looks online rather than in a book?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #4
  5. Gord

    Gord Contributor

    759 185
    Not from here you don't, on a google UK search.( not on the first few pages )
    Your personal google cookies are probably giving you a false impression.

    Get a co.uk or put it on a uk server.
    Register with google places.
    Learn basic SEO or get someone in to do a quick overhaul.

    Hope this helps
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: Gord Member since: Apr 1, 2008
    #5
  6. Sproston

    Sproston UKBF Contributor

    54 13
    "I was just wondering if any of you guys have some tips with regards getting a new company recognised."

    Are you wanting to primarily appeal to local customers or national? I'd assume you'd want to target local first, but assumptions aren't FACHT!

    As a new start up, are you happy to spend money on marketing? (I notice you've spent money on yell.com, but is there anything left in the marketing pot)
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: Sproston Member since: Jun 8, 2010
    #6
  7. Mike W

    Mike W Verified Business ✔️
    Contributor

    1,572 360
    Lewis

    I've just visited your site.

    You offer to help people get found on the net, yet you're having difficulty yourself ...?

    That aside, I took a look at some of your 'latest work'....

    The 1st of the 3 sites is 'suspended' - http://www.websiteniche.com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi

    The 2nd link spells commercial and commerical - typo maybe but hardly likely to inspire confidence.

    I didn't look at the 3rd. I did however decide to take a look at you on Facebook and Twitter...

    Oops! Both links kept me where I was.

    I know you came here for advice on being found but all in all, even if I did find you, I have to say, I wouldn't stick around for too long. Sorry.
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: Mike W Member since: Aug 19, 2010
    #7
  8. Christine Hough

    Christine Hough Contributor

    3,113 602
    I did a google on 'designhull' and could not find you.
    What is your URL?

    I live near Hull and like to know about good designers, but would not be happy about your SEO if your own website isn't too visible.

    But I would like to see what you can do.

    Best wishes,
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: Christine Hough Member since: Mar 31, 2006
    #8
  9. designhull

    designhull UKBF Newcomer

    33 6
    Thanks for all the replies guys, I really do appreciate it.

    There is a lot of work to be done, i'm currently working on SEO myself. SEO is not a problem with regards ranking for search terms, we all know how hard it is for a new domain name to rank for organic traffic.

    There is a period where your website/domain goes into what you would call the "google sandbox" this applies to many new websites/domain names that are trying to target competitive keywords, in my case for example;

    "design hull" "web design uk" "web design in hull" "web development yorkshire" "web design hull"

    It takes time.

    Before I launched my company I designed and marketed my own websites and then sold them. I have always designed and coded websites, my skills are design, PHP coding, MYSQL, CSS/XHTML, i'm still learning flash. When it comes to online solutions for business's I have general ideas to suite any client that may be lost. I'm a straight thinker.

    I know a lot of people like to say "my service is the best etc". I concentrate on what the client wants. You see in this field thats what its about, the client. If you can offer a unique service to suite any client then that is a good thing. I'm just finding it hard at the moment from leaving the "flipping"/selling niche, and jumping straight into the main development world.

    I'm still coming to grips with how I can actively market my own services. I make lots of websites, and I have done a good number of projects who have all had good things to say, a lot of projects with companies involved magento, but I signed a non-disclosure agreement for them which makes it hard to show off my portfolio.

    If anyone needs some work doing, or some magento eCommerce development, let me know and I would be glad to give you a 50% discount, and then hopefully I can get more reviews from clients. You would be very happy with the service. Unlike most companies that take your money and do the work, we will listen to everything you have to say, and we will give you revisions every step of the way. Communication, delivery and quality of the service is most important, and that little added bonus is that you get all of them qualities for such a good price!

    I look forward to having many discussions here on UKBF's :)

    My website is http://www.designhull.com

    Regards
    Design Hull LTD
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: designhull Member since: Oct 11, 2010
    #9
  10. DesignerNick

    DesignerNick Contributor

    3,449 615
    I think being in this trade then reputation and word of mouth is great. Make the customer feel like they know what you are talking about, provide great customer service and don't make promises you can't keep.

    If you can't do something or you don't think you will meet a deadline then be straight with them. Don't ******** them so you get the work, more than likely you will still get the work with an extended deadline and they will appreciate your honesty more.

    When I work with people I like to give them options like with an online store I would say I can add 100 items for you for x amount or I can teach you how to add them yourself for this smaller amount so it saves you money.
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: DesignerNick Member since: Apr 22, 2009
    #10
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  11. designhull

    designhull UKBF Newcomer

    33 6
    Thats exactly what I already do.

    Im testing the water on my own online store connected to my website, I did this using magento, still work in progress.

    http://www.designhull.com/store/

    I thought it would be good to offer discounts on the web to my services etc.

    I gave you a "thanks" on your last post.
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: designhull Member since: Oct 11, 2010
    #11
  12. bagelbox

    bagelbox Contributor

    151 13
    I'd recommend approaching local businesses with naff websites and design a small cheap template page that you can show them to say "hey look we can make your website look like this!". They'll be impressed with the fact you've worked on obtaining their sale.
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: bagelbox Member since: Oct 6, 2010
    #12
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  13. Esk247

    Esk247 Contributor

    7,758 1,512
    Word of mouth works for me. In fact, guess how much I spent on Esk247 with regard to advertising since 2005? ? ? £50

    I managed to make a basic living out of it, even though it's fairly simple, although i'm now moving on to other projects and just sticking with the clients i already have pretty much.

    You're entering a highly competitive market, I'm not sure that on-going advertising is worth all that much, thats in my opinion anyway and from what i've experienced.

    I quite like your website, so you just need to get those hits up but remember not to rely on the search engines only, thats just one part of the marketing strategy, networking and word of mouth will probably get you the same amount of business, although it takes a lot longer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: Esk247 Member since: Oct 6, 2008
    #13
  14. kontracta_com

    kontracta_com Contributor

    338 40
    I'm probably not adding anything extra to what has already been said but it seems that the main thing is just getting your name out there. You know more about the Google side than I do so at least you've got that covered.

    If you are after local custom initially then joining local networking groups, contacting local businesses and even advertising in local publications may help - the first being the best though. Potentially also consider your local Chamber of Commerce if it has a decent enough reputation or even go on any business courses that are free or cheap enough where you will meet people who are just starting out and need a website.

    Another thing, as you've done here is to join a couple of forums to both get advice and also give advice. It's worked here as I have now heard of you (as have many others) yet yesterday we didn't. It's also good that you haven't blatantly gone about promoting your business - more people will have probably read this post as a result.

    If you are after national clients then it may be drastic but have you also considered running a concurrent website but without the local references(?) That way you open your market up a bit more as no one will be put off, say, using you from Cornwall.

    Finally, as I'm sure you know, it doesn't happen overnight. It'll take time and effort but eventually you'll get some work in and the recommendations will hopefully flow from that.

    Good luck with it all anyway :)
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2010 By: kontracta_com Member since: Jun 8, 2010
    #14
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