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Technology

The Challenge Of Digital Transformation For Small Businesses

/ Insights      / The Challenge Of Digital Transformation For Small Businesses

The Challenge Of Digital Transformation For Small Businesses

When working with smaller or local businesses, we find that business owners are overwhelmed with the digital decisions they need to make to keep their business competitive.

For a small business the internet and other digital technologies hold opportunities, but also threats and challenges to their business model.

Digital Transformation

This is caused by the digital transformation that the UK has undergone over the last 15 years that continues to rapidly change the way that customers view the world and how they find and buy products and services.

Children growing up today are entering the world as “digital natives” and run significant portions of their lives online, that previous generations including their parents did not.

Adapting To Changes In Behaviour

These changes in behaviour are redefining the business communities we live in and businesses are under pressure to adapt to the changing needs of consumers or risk becoming irrelevant.

Changes that include offering, click and collect, pre-ordering and different ways to buy and pay for products/services.

Business owners face the challenge of determining the best way to invest digital resources to get maximum return on investment for their business.

In a fast evolving marketplace this can be difficult, especially as there are hundreds of different ways a business can define itself digitally, from their website to apps and social media.

Therefore, we find when working with businesses locally our biggest value is helping them understand how they can use digital tools such as their website, apps and social media within their business effectively.

This can be using a website to get more customers, an app to encourage customer loyalty or improve business processes to social media to manage reputation and communicate with the business community.

The business environment is transforming rapidly and at Aspiring Panda we relish the opportunity to help our customers find their way in the digital age.

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Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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Technology

Get Social Media Training At Our Harrow Office

/ Insights      / Get Social Media Training At Our Harrow Office

Get Social Media Training At Our Harrow Office

In May, Aspiring Panda will be hosting a nationally recognised social media expert to deliver training to local businesses on how to define their social media strategy.

The course will be run by Kristian Downer of DowSocial who we work closely with, on our digital marketing.

What is the course about?

Staying up to date and running a successful social media campaign is becoming increasingly challenging as social platforms change and evolve. Online audiences are bombarded daily with hundreds of messages and online content, making the task of measuring ROI (return on investment) rather challenging.

This social media training course is designed to be informative and interactive. The core focus of the course is on revealing new trends, understanding audience behaviours and social media principles that will enable you to create successful social media campaigns for lead generation and nurturing existing customer relationships.

Who should attend?

This training course is targeted at users of social media who want to achieve a greater understanding of how to implement and integrate social media to develop increased brand exposure, online reach and acquire new business.

Typical attendees are marketers, business owners, community managers, PR professionals, publishers and account managers.

What is the course outcome?

Following this training course, you will be able to:

  • Design a social media strategy plan
  • Choose the right social media platforms to use
  • Confidently use content and communication strategies that work
  • Adapt the language and tones to suit each social media platform
  • Integrate social media and offline marketing methods
  • Understand the methods and tools to generate new leads
  • Track and measure social media campaign success or failure

We look forward to seeing at you at this and future events at our office in Harrow.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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Technology

Three Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

/ Insights      / Three Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

Three Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

Social media is an increasingly important part of the marketing of small businesses across the UK. With more than 30m users of Facebook alone, it is getting harder and harder to ignore that your target audience is active on social media.

For business owners that are resisting moving their business onto social media it is likely that they are missing out on opportunities and risking getting passed over in favour of companies that are more proactive with their digital marketing.

If you are on the fence, here are three ways social media can help your business succeed:

Generate Referral Business From Existing Customers

Existing customers are often the most effective way of getting new business as they refer their friends and colleagues to your product or service. Social media is an incredibly powerful way of harnessing this and broadcasting the goodwill your existing customer base has for what you do.

Target & Advertise To Potential Customers

Social media is powerful for businesses, in part due to the data that the platforms create and store about their users. Harnessed effectively, this can be used to advertise your business to exactly the people you want to target.

This means that you spend less money on traditional less well directed advertising platforms such as print or radio advertising.

Customer Service

Whether you are on social media or not, your customers are talking about you both the good and the bad. If you are on social media then you have an opportunity to see what they are saying about you, reinforce the positive and fix the negative.

After all, there is no more powerful an advocate than someone who has a negative experience that is given excellent customer service.

If you are unsure how to get a strategy that works for your business contact the Aspiring Panda team.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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Technology

How Dry Cleaners Can Compete Using Technology

/ Insights      / How Dry Cleaners Can Compete Using Technology

How Dry Cleaners Can Compete Using Technology

The UK dry cleaning, and the cleaning services industry more widely, is worth more than £1bn per year, employing over 30,000 people within nearly 4,000 businesses.

An industry report shows that the last five years have been challenging, due to the economic downturn, lower household budgets, and lower demand. Although the number of establishments has declined an online opportunity has emerged.

Demand is starting to recover, however the opportunity lies in adapting to changing consumer habits to craft a customer service that is both cost effective and convenient to the client.

Using Technology To Compete

The internet may not have had a huge impact on the industry in the early stages of the dotcom boom. The last five years have seen a revolution in how consumers research and buy products.

By harnessing this as yet underused resource, dry cleaners can offer click and collect or delivery services to their customers at the press of a button. These kinds of services add convenience to the customer who can order, pay, and even get their clothes collected and returned without leaving their home.

By combining this with text/email marketing with app based push notifications, dry cleaners can maintain regular contact with their customer base, increase referrals, retention and the annual value of each customer.

Apps are popular with the younger generations, making dry cleaning more accessible than the traditional high street shop front, potentially creating an entirely new market for your services.

Creating A Laundry App

Creating a dry cleaning app can be done in many ways, from working with larger providers, to an independent presence. At Aspiring Panda we see the value in helping a business maintain its brand, particularly if it is a longstanding business that has reputation and merit. However, this does not mean that a dry cleaner needs to invest in a bespoke app.

At Aspiring Panda we have a product that we can customise to your business and integrate it seamlessly into an existing website. If a business does not have a site, then we can even create this for you.

If you would like to know more about how your dry cleaning business can compete using a mobile app, just give us a call.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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web Webdesign

Three Small Business Website Trends For 2016

/ Insights      / Three Small Business Website Trends For 2016

Three Small Business Website Trends For 2016

One of the reasons for hiring a professional web design company is that the industry is constantly changing and evolving. Hiring a company that works on websites on a daily basis can help your business keep in touch with the latest developments and generate more revenue.

Last year was one of change in the web design industry, the big change was that building websites that were easy to read and interact with on mobile devices became critical.

A change in the way Google ranks websites in search means that from April 2015 sites that are not “Mobile Friendly” found themselves harder to find for their potential customers.

Here are three trends we think will impact small businesses in 2016.

A Focus On User Experience

For small businesses the website is no longer a poster for the bricks and mortar presence, instead the site needs to be easy to access and active. This means that it needs to engage users, providing convenience and ease of use, whilst compelling them to take an action.

Sites that do this well will convert more customers and see a greater return on all their online marketing including social media and paid advertising.

Increased Links Between The High Street and Online

With 86% of people using the internet whilst in shops to research products they are considering buying, retailers and service providers will need to make sure that their online and offline offerings are integrated to maximise the potential of both. Businesses need to think of them as the same thing as we move into 2016.

Renewed Focus On Driving Traffic & Retaining Data

With social media becoming more and more saturated, there will be an increased need to advertise on these platforms to reach your audience.

To ensure this is of benefit businesses will need to ensure that they put the right mechanisms in place to maximise the effectiveness of any traffic driven to their website and capture as much data for retargeting and email marketing campaigns.

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Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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Technology

How Apps Can Transform Traditional Local Service Providers

/ Insights      / How Apps Can Transform Traditional Local Service Providers

How Apps Can Transform Traditional Local Service Providers

In the last couple of years we have seen apps become an important part of the business landscape beyond gimmicks and marketing extensions.

We have seen true market disruption take place in industries that have existed for decades fuelled by apps and the way they act as a portal to interact, communicate and serve customers.

Whilst not every business can develop an app and simply become “the next Uber” overnight there are opportunities for small businesses to integrate mobile app technologies into their product offering.

These apps can be used to enhance service industry businesses such as taxi firms, takeaways and laundrettes. Here are a few ways a mobile app could transform a local company providing a service.

Offer New Products and Services

The development of a mobile app can allow a service provider to expand into new territories or even launch entirely new products. A good example of this could be a laundrette that uses a mobile app to launch a collection and delivery service to customers.

All of this could be managed within the app creating opportunities for the small business and convenience for the customer.

Gain Competitive Advantage & Enhance The Customer Experience

This kind of convenience allows small businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition.

By providing a high quality and convenient service offering via a mobile app the business can keep its customers happy and ahead of the competition.

Build Customer Loyalty & Maximise Revenue Earned Per Customer

 By offering a more convenient service an app can increase customer loyalty, an app on their phone can help keep you on their mind. Combined with push notifications that flash up from your app on their mobile device small businesses can increase the amount of orders received per customer by providing timely reminders and special offers about the service being offered.

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Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Development Technology web

A Guide to Mobile Responsive websites

/ Insights      / A Guide to Mobile Responsive websites

A Guide to Mobile Responsive websites

In the last five years the way in which we search the internet has changed. Internet traffic has moved from the desktop to the mobile device. This is powerful for consumers and retailers and contributed to a huge change in the way Google ranks websites.

This year Google changed the way it treats websites that are not designed to display correctly using smart phones and tablet devices. From the 23rd of April 2015 Google changed the algorithm that ranks search engines depending on whether a website is “mobile friendly”

This change is due to the change in internet searches, with more than 50% of web searches now made on mobile devices rather than on a desktop PC. This change means businesses need to ensure their website is mobile responsive or risk a decrease in visits to their sites.

Many Businesses Are Still Not Up To Date

However through our networking and the projects we have been working on it is clear that there are still a large number of businesses that have not updated their site to be mobile responsive.

Even six months after the changes were introduced we still meet businesses that have websites that are currently unresponsive.

How To Check If Your Website Is Out Of Date

To see if your website is mobile responsive or not you can visit the Google website and take the mobile friendly test.

If Google says that your website is not mobile friendly, then it is not too late to update your site, however we recommend that you make the changes as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss out on mobile search tracking.

If you are unsure what these changes mean for your business or would like to speak to a digital marketing expert then give the Aspiring Panda team a call.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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Development web

3 Website Factors That Affect What Your Customers Think Of You

/ Insights      / 3 Website Factors That Affect What Your Customers Think Of You

3 Website Factors That Affect What Your Customers Think Of You

A website is a valuable marketing resource, which says more about your business than you may think.

It is your opportunity to get your business discovered online whilst informing and selling to those that visit. A well designed and content rich website will pull people to your website, tell people what you do and generate a positive impression that will lead to business.

If your website is not up to standard then this can have a negative impact upon the sales and reputation of your business. Until these are addressed you may be selling your business short and losing opportunities.

There are a number of different factors that contribute to this and we have focussed on three that will affect what your customers think of your business because of your website

The Design

Despite being only around 20 years old as a commercial discipline, web design has changed a lot over 20 years.

The technology has changed meaning that designs not only have to be modern but accessible on a range of different devices. The design is still important as we subconsciously are aware of sites that are out of date, this does not mean businesses need state of the art sites just those that are modern and match customer expectations.

The Content

The content within your website is important, you have only a few seconds to get the interest of your audience or they will move on. This means the content must grab the audience and give them the information they need immediately. Content should also be free from simple spelling mistakes to avoid giving your audience the wrong impression.

Active or Passive

Previously you used to be able to get a website built and the job was done. Now due to the saturation of the web more is required to stand out.

Your website needs to be active to show that you are still trading and to encourage your users to take action. An active website could have a blog, social media integration and a range of other elements to move beyond the boring. What’s more Google love content such as videos and blogs so an active website is going to be more visible in a search.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Apps Technology

10 Statistics That Show the Power of Apps

/ Insights      / 10 Statistics That Show the Power of Apps

10 Statistics That Show the Power of Apps

The rise of the smartphone has been largely powered by the influence that mobile apps are now having on the ways in which we work and play. There are apps for every purpose, from games across the spectrum of fun to apps with a hard hitting business application.

Mobile apps are going from strength-to-strength in 2015, with their applications growing from both a business and personal perspective.

To highlight the power of mobile apps we have combed the web for the latest statistics around the growth of mobile apps and related industries:

These stats show that the appetite for mobile apps is rising as the world becomes more and more digitally and mobile focused. Although the solution for every business may not be to build an app, businesses should be giving serious thought to the role that apps could play in their business.

Apps and mobile technology are not just the domain of large companies: to compete, businesses of all sizes should be looking at how mobile apps can solve problems within their business. Be that how to generate more customers, retain old ones or improve the customer experience.

Wherever your business is heading, make sure you consider the role an app could play in your business.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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Technology

5 Checks To Make Sure That Your Small Business Website Is Fit For Purpose

/ Insights      / 5 Checks To Make Sure That Your Small Business Website Is Fit For Purpose

5 Checks To Make Sure That Your Small Business Website Is Fit For Purpose

The internet provides businesses with an opportunity to make their business accessible to customers anytime and potentially anywhere. In recent years, the concept of a company website has evolved to be much more than just a flyer or poster promoting your business on the internet.

Instead, with the right design, message, and layout your website has the ability to create and convert leads. However, this means that companies must consider the right approach for their business and invest in the development of an appropriate website.

For the small business, budgets for web design can often be tight. However, there are a number of checks you can do to make sure you have the basics covered.

Check Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

With more than 50% of internet traffic now coming from smartphones or iPads, businesses should make sure that their websites display properly on different mobile devices. In April, Google made this a factor in how easy it was for people to find your site using Google search. You can check if your site complies here – https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Add an Active Element to the Site

With so many businesses starting and then fizzling out, it can be difficult for people to work out whether or not a business is still operating. Adding an active element to your website – such as a social media feed, blog or booking system – lets people know that you are open for business

Make It Easy to Contact You Using the Site

The purpose of a business website is to either sell something through the site or to get a potential customer to express an interest. It never fails to surprise us when we see attractive and interesting company websites that make it difficult to get in contact and make purchases.

Don’t lose out on opportunities – make certain that your contact information or call to action works or is easy to find.

Check Your Site Is SEO Optimised

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the term for the actions you take to make your site more appealing to the search engine rankings. An important part of this is “on-page optimisation” which is the set up of your website so Google can read it correctly.

Make sure your website is set up properly so those looking for you or businesses like yours can find you

Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly

The average internet user is impatient: if your site takes a few seconds to load your potential customer may leave without absorbing any information. Test your website and make sure it loads quickly.

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Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.