Two things every Glasgow Business should do now.
Evidently, there are more than 2 things that every new Glasgow Business must do and should do. However, you probably understand that starting a new business or managing a small business means wearing many hats and almost always losing a few of them. Start your Glasgow Business on the right foot by delving deep into these 2 “golden nuggets” and lay a solid foundation for future success.
Over the years I have started around five businesses in the Glasgow area and all but this one (robbwallacemedia.com) has failed. These insights and ideas presented here are based on what has worked and comes directly from experience. I am sharing this with you as I reignite my passion and push forward with my own Glasgow based business. This is mainly written from my expertise as a Digital Media Consultant and Media Producer / Content Creator.
The two key things in my opinion that every new business should prioritise, 1) is developing a brand and brand message and 2)a ‘fast’ website to communicate that brand message, its products and services.
1) Clear Branding
A clear brand with a clear message sounds so fundamental, so simple and so cliched. But does your brand pass the test? I can tell you that on numerous occasions I have met with prospective clients, small businesses and startups and time and time again I have encountered, businesses that fail to communicate clearly what their business actually does.
Example of poor branding.
I went for an interview with a company in Glasgow (I will keep their identity anonymous). I was applying for a one-month marketing/ content creation based role. In the meeting, the interviewer asked me some questions about the business to see if I had done my research. Had I been to their website? Had I an understanding of what they did? of their client base? products, services etc
He was not best pleased when I broke the news to him that the newly updated website was horrendous. It used a dark colour theme that was visually hard to read, the site itself was hard to navigate, and the content had been written by ‘marketing people’. The content had been stuffed with KEYWORDS, technical descriptions, technical jargon and industry acronyms which had made the front page almost indecipherable by me and most other humans.
I had to resort to searching there brand on Google to find reviews and information on their services. Ie I had to go to an external provider to find out what it was they actually did, in reality, no customer is ever going to do that!
It works out that the company successfully built apps on the Android platform. The point of this story is that their message was not in any way friendly to their customer base. For example a small to medium-sized business looking for information, pricing etc for a local Glasgow based company to develop them an app for their business, I believe would have lasted 10 seconds on that front page and went back to google!!
WHY? The homepage was just waffle. I asked if it was a freelance or external agency that had written the copy on the website and low and behold it was! He also hadn’t taken the time to actually read it, he had looked at it but did not actually read through it. His customers were expected to take the time to battle through the bullshit but he wouldn’t do it himself.
Things to take away from this.
Make your messaging clear – Test it out on your children, if they get it, it works. Even the most complicated business must be able to communicate what they do in simple terms and fast.
Practice the one line pitch or elevator pitch (very short pitch) and allow it to help you boil down, and really get to the core of what it is your brand is trying to say. My favourite example of a one-line pitch is for the film Alien, ie “Jaws in Space” three words. And from these three words we know it will have a big elusive monster, it’s going to be tense, fast-paced and scary and that it set in space. Evidently, it was financed on that pitch alone.
- Does your business have a catchy one-liner that clearly describes what you do?
- Have you accessed your own website from your computer, phone, tablet?
- Have you navigated through your own website, testing the various products and services that you offer, reading the content and being objective?
- Use visual elements to display your services.
- Use video to show your customers what you do, what you offer.
- Tell the customer how your product or service will benefit them.
- Check the competitor and see how they convey their products and services. Is there ideas to borrow, is there key things they are missing that you can capitalise on?
Look at the big brands for inspiration.
RWM – How can I add value to your business?
Nike- Just do it
Mcdonalds – I’m lovin it
KFC- Finger licking good
Kit Kat – Have a break have a kit kat
Redbull – It gives you wings
Tesco – Every little helps
Apple- Think different
2)Make sure your website is FAST!!
We have determined that your brand’s message needs to be clear, your website will most likely be the place where your prospective clients access that message. The website has to be on point, it will be your best employee or your worst!! It is your shop front, your information hub and it will be open 24/7, 365 days a year. It will either invite customers in with clear information or repel them with confusion.
But there is one key factor that reigns supreme above all the others in the domain of WEB. Yes, you guessed it Website speed!! Both Google and Humans absolutely hate a slow loading website and they absolutely love a fast loading website. No matter if your customer is accessing your website from Glasgow or Beijing, it better load fast. If your website does not load fast you are guaranteed that the potential customer will be clicking back to google and clicking on the SERP result below your listing. Google knows that speed directly impacts user experience and Google doesn’t want to serve up customers with bad user experiences.
Understanding how to make your website load faster!!
Size of your website.
First off we need to understand what is happening. The website is just a bundle of data and this bundle of data has a size measured in Megabytes. The larger the size of the data the longer it will take to download to your customer’s browser be it on to their Laptop, phone etc. Some examples of websites data sizes 300KB (Small – loads fast), 5MB (Average- loads OK), 50MB (large – slow loading). The other two key factors to understand is the customer’s connection speed and host server location.
Customers internet connection
If your customers are accessing your website on a super fast fibre connection everything is going to appear fast!! If in fact most of your clients are connecting on a 2G mobile data connection (extreme example) then your website is always going to appear slow and file size of the web page is of the utmost importance. You can’t do anything to influence the speed of your customers internet connection but you can test your website load times on slow connections as well as super fast fibre connections. Understand their experience on your website. Smaller websites (data size) load better for more people!!
Websites server location.
The server hosts the files and it is from here that the client will download the files to their browser for viewing. If your customers are having to dial up servers in Australia when your business is in Glasgow then it is going to be a slow experience. Make sure your host servers are in the country that your business is operating. Most cheap hosting online is based in the USA.
Make these changes to speed up your website.
- Compress images – Small images size = less data = faster loading
- Compress video – Small images size = less data = faster loading
- Reduce the number of large files (Video and images on the front page)
- Reduce the number of external connections – Ie when you load Facebook videos, Youtube videos, Twitter widgets etc on your page. That information has to be collected from those external sources before being displayed on your page, all adding time to your website’s load time. Reduce external connections and make your site faster.
A clear brand message and speed!! As stated in the opening paragraph it sounds easy enough but the information above is just the tip of the iceberg on these two topics. However, Robb Wallace Media offers a Digital MOT which looks at many factors and runs many tests to see how your business is presented and accessed online. Including website speed tests, branding and messaging audits, for more information on the Digital MOT click here.