Archive for March, 2012

We increase visitors to your website. Here’s the proof!

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    Here at Seven Creative we believe in doing a good job for our customers.

    One of the things we don’t tend to shout about, however, is our search engine optimisation activity. When we build a site, it wouldn’t really be fair for us to not build in search engine optimisation features, as once you have at least a basic understanding of optimising websites for organic listing, it’s quite quick to do.

    We really enjoy seeing website suddenly rocket in the search engine rankings after we’ve had a bit of a tinker with it. And seeing a rise in website visitors is equally satisfying, as we know then that we’re really having a positive effect on our customers businesses.

    After monitoring the analytics results for some of our recent jobs, and being very happy with the results, we felt it was only right to share these success stories. So here are some of the recent site visitor increases for the websites we’ve been working on:

     

    Seven Creative Blog – Recent increase in visitors 36.64%

    Clean Sheet Computing – Visitors up by 2,200% (Two thousand, two hundred)log – Recent increase in visitors 36.64%

    Dunston Lodge boarding kennels, Chesterfield – Visitors up by 264.38%

    Westgate Cottage, Isle of Wight – Visitors up by 17.65%

    W E G Thomas – Visitors up by 64.71%

    GWB Landscaping, Aylesbury – Visitors up by 89.19%

    Moscar Kennels, Sheffield – Visitors up by 35.07%

    Northshot Photography – Visitors up by 75.66%

    PCT Healthcare – Visitors up by 23.12%

    Seven Creative (our main website) – Visitors up by 22.22%

    HCDL – Visitors up by 33.90%

    So there you have it! Proof that we can increase visitors to your website.

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      Written by Chris

      March 28th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      BNI and Sam Rathling: The Power of ‘Givers Gain’.

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        As Sam Rathling sat in her tiny home office in Ireland 6 years ago, she wondered where to start. With one contact in the entire country, no clients and 80 local competitors, it was going to be a long, hard road to the top. But thanks to the power of Sam’s key to success ‘Givers Gain’, and her involvement in BNI, Sam’s recruitment business ‘Expect Talent’ is now thriving.

        With 3 offices, 10 full time employees and 300-500 contract employees, Sam has created a company with a multi-million euro turnover – all from scratch. She has built her businesses entirely through networking, word of mouth marketing, online reputation and referrals.

        After landing herself a contract as a recruitment partner working with Amazon, Sam receives referrals from all over the world. As a result of the power of successful networking, she now has 10,000 global 1st connections. Sam attributes a considerable amount of her success to her involvement in BNI. “I have 125 sales staff working for me through BNI,” says Sam. “For me, my BNI members are my sales team.”

        Sam is currently working on recruiting 900 people for a call center and insists that despite the current economic downturn, it is possible to grow a business during the recession. “All that’s needed is hard work and commitment,” she says enthusiastically. “You can’t expect to see a growth in business without a growth in activity. If you up your activity levels, your business will grow accordingly.”

        Build Your Business Workshop with Sam Rathling, 21st March 2012. Photo courtesy of Footprint Photography

        Build Your Business Workshop with Sam Rathling, 21st March 2012. Photo courtesy of Footprint Photography

        Sam’s success has given her the freedom to move away from working IN her business, to working ON it. She estimates that she now spends 50% of her allocated working hours working on BNI, and in turn, 90% of her business revenue comes from this.

        ‘Expect Talent’ dedicate a slot of time on a Friday afternoon to thanking customers and clients, another way of giving back. Affectionately called ‘Thank you Fridays’, Sam aims to give at least one LinkedIn recommendation, and sends out two Thank you cards from the office. She insists that it’s a great way to end the week on a positive note. And she’s smart about it too. The cards are designed and printed by BNI members, so when the card reaches the recipient, it’s not just the ‘Expect Talent’ logo that appears on it; it’s the photographer, printer, and of course, the BNI logo.

        Sam insists that the success of her involvement in BNI, and in turn, her business, is attributable to the time and motivation involved in actively finding referrals. Sam’s ambitions for the working year are clear: “This year, we plan to give 500 referrals through our business,” she says.

        Delegates at the BNI Build Your Business Workshop with Sam Rathling, 21st March 2012. Photo courtesy of Footprint Photography

        Delegates at the BNI Build Your Business Workshop with Sam Rathling, 21st March 2012. Photo courtesy of Footprint Photography

        As well as BNI, LinkedIn is also an integral part of Samantha’s networking.  She has used the site to increase the online visibility of ‘Expect Talent’, create a credible company profile, and communicate the attitude of her business to potential customers. She also uses LinkedIn as a platform for BNI testimonials, in order to promote other BNI members businesses.

        And she never underestimates the importance of productivity. Sam recommends concentrating on an important, must do task, by turning off the phone, stepping away from email and putting time aside to be productive without distraction. She constantly strives to train and up-skill, as she believes that personal development and learning have a direct impact on the success of your business.

        When it comes to unique selling points, Sam’s approach is rather novel . With extraordinary confidence and self assurance, she quotes Walt Disney: “Observe the masses and do the opposite.” Sam says, “Suss out competitors and make a list of things they do that you don’t like. Then do the opposite. That way, BNI members can refer you more easily as they have a clear and succinct understanding of exactly what you can offer a customer. By remembering your USP’s, it’s easier to break from the pack and ‘Unleash your niche’.”

        Delegates at the BNI Build Your Business Workshop with Sam Rathling, 21st March 2012. Photo courtesy of Footprint Photography

        Delegates at the BNI Build Your Business Workshop with Sam Rathling, 21st March 2012. Photo courtesy of Footprint Photography

        Sam’s advice is to “Be a specialist, not a generalist.” She insists that by focusing on a target market and concentrating on a specialised niche, you can offer expert advice, therefore generating more business and more money.

        Sam also believes in giving knowledge. She’s used her experience and success to start a blog, she gives endless free advice, and regularly speaks on topics of interest with regard to growing a successful business.

        And it’s this message that lies at the heart of Sam Rathling’s work ethic. Give more, get more back. She firmly believes that the best way to build your business is through the power of ‘Givers Gain’, and it’s obviously working.

        (Workshop photographs courtesy of Footprint Photography, Specialist photographers in Sheffield)

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          Written by Chris

          March 26th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

          Microtill launches new Casio Android Cash Register

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            Microtill have recently launched the new Android EPOS cash register, a revolutionary new addition to the retail industry.

            The Casio Android EPOS cash register is suitable for a variety of retail environments including including independent and multi-national retail stores, restaurants, educational establishments and offices.

            Casio android tills have a number of great benefits, including:

            Splash proof touch screens

            Microtill android cash register touch screen

            Android cash registers have a large splash proof touch screen. The industry leader, Casio’s VX-100 Android Cash Register has a 10.4 inch SVGA touch screen. This LCD colour touch screen is entirely splash proof, an perfect for any location where liquids are likely to be spilt, such as restaurants and bars. The Casio android cash register can also be tilted using an electronic adjustment, so the operator can set the ideal position.

            The android till includes a pop-up monochrome LCD screen, that not only displays clear customer information, but can also be used for payment confirmation, the running receipt total and even advertising messages. The Android EPOS pop-up monochrome LCD screen has a resolution of 32 x 160 dots; therefore 20 letters x 2 lines can be displayed.

            Built in receipt printer

            Android till LCD pop up screen

            Android till LCD pop up screen

            Android tills boast a built in receipt printer as part of a one box system. The Casio VX-100 Android Cash Register has an 80mm thermal paper receipt printer, with drop-in paper loading. Power cables and connections are not needed as this feature is integrated into the android EPOS cash register terminal. Also available is an optional magnetic strip card reader or interfaced chip and pin terminal.

            Android cash registers offer the choice of an optional cash drawer and a selection of interfaces including USB, LAN, and RS232C. This allows third party peripherals to be added to the android EPOS cash register.

             

            Energy saving

            Android cash registers consume up to 85% less power than PC based systems, making them energy efficient and cheaper to run. The Casio VX-100 Android Cash Register only needs 20 watts on full power and 4.1 watts in stand-by mode. With electricity costs rising, both independent store owners and national operators can save significant amounts of money by using Android cash registers.

            Android operating system

            The Android EPOS cash register requires no licensing fees, and all development fees are also free of charge. Also, the Casio android cash register is a faster, more stable platform, and new EPOS applications make relationship management with external databases easy to set up.

            The combination of Casio EPOS hardware and the Android platform gives you endless versatility, making the Android cash register the clear choice for any business. For more information about android cash registers take a look at the Microtill website at http://www.microtill.com/

             

             

             

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              Written by Chris

              March 12th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

              Launch of new Moscar Pet Services website

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                The new Moscar Kennels and Cattery website is now live!

                The new owners understandably wanted to show off the kennels and make sure everyone knows what a great job they do of looking after pets.

                Seven Creative’s Chris Day said, ‘I really like the colour scheme for the website, its bright and fresh, and the pictures are fun too. The gallery page is a great feature as prospective customers can see the inside of the kennels and cattery, and see how well kept it is. And the comments on the testimonials page speak for themselves!’

                The website not only looks great, it’s easy to use too, and tells the customer everything they need to know about the kennels and services. Each bit of information is contained in a clear and easy to read coloured box, so it takes seconds to find the information customers need.

                Moscar kennels and Cattery is a family run business and the site has been home to a boarding facility for over 70 years. Moscar Pet Services is located in gorgeous countryside, with specially designed facilities and fully trained staff. They make sure you feel completely happy leaving your pet with them by making sure all animals on site are vaccinated, providing 24 hour access to a vet, and fully insuring all pets.

                No wonder the customers are happy. Mrs Jowle said, ‘The kennels are in a great location,  providing an excellent environment and care.’ And now they have a great website too!

                 

                 

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                  Written by Chris

                  March 7th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

                  ‘Word of mouth’ marketing with BNI

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                    It’s 7am. The sky is streaked with pink as the sun rises over the glittering, frost covered grass surrounding the golf club. Inside, a group of twenty local business owners are talking animatedly to each other and shuffling business cards. I sit and observe, sip my coffee and watch their enthusiasm and buoyancy with curiosity.

                    This is BNI, the most successful business referral organisation in the world. This particular group of local business people meet once a week for breakfast at a golf club on the outskirts of Sheffield, to network, learn new marketing skills and develop personal relationships.

                    For them, BNI meetings provide a structured business environment, traditionally allowing one person from each trade or profession to join each group, or ‘chapter’. As individual members of the group begin to speak, I am introduced to a mortgage adviser, a personal and educational coach, and a plumber.

                    Here’s how it works. There is a membership fee, but when you belong, all the other members of the group carry copies of your card around with them. When they meet someone new that could use your products or services, they hand out your card and personally recommend your services. Consequently, this generates business for all members of the group.The BNI organisation themself describe belonging as ‘like having dozens of sales people working for you’.

                    I know what you’re thinking. Surely there must be a catch? What’s the hidden agenda?

                    I can honestly say that there isn’t one. Here are a group of people whose common interest is the success of their business. Not only are the members willing to pay the fees, they see them as an integral part of the organisation, as the payment provides an incentive to attend the meetings, and get the most out of their membership.

                    BNI member and director of Seven Creative Clair Day said, “I think of the fee as an investment. For the contacts and referrals I have generated, and the amount of money I have made for my business, I could pay the fee tenfold. It’s completely worth it.’

                    BNI and its members believe that successful businesses depend on ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing, and that positive testimonials and genuine recommendations are the best form of promotion. John Underwood, who runs a thriving computer repairs and maintenance company Cleansheet Computing says, “I would say I generate 70% of my business through BNI. If you’re passionate about making a success of your business, it’s well worth making the effort.”

                    After witnessing a number of referrals, the majority of which are as simple as paid work falling into people’s laps, I come away wondering why more local businesses aren’t involved. I’m impressed. I am impressed with the simplicity of the concept, the structure of the meeting, and yet fully aware that it’s all based on common sense.

                    If you are interested in, or think that your local business could benefit from BNI membership, come along as a visitor to meet the group and introduce yourself. Meetings are held at Beauchief Golf Course on Abbey Lane, Sheffield at 7am on a Tuesday morning.  Attending the meeting is by invitation only, so if you would like your name putting on the guest list, please call Seven Creative on 0114 383 0711

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                      Written by Chris

                      March 6th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

                      Win a cuddly raccoon USB warmer!

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                        USB powered raccoon wrist-warmer

                        USB powered raccoon wrist-warmer

                        Win-a-raccoon competition

                        Win-a-raccoon competition

                        Here at Seven Creative, we’re offering you the chance to win a cuddly raccoon USB warmer.

                        All you have to do is like our Facebook page for the chance to win this cute little guy, who’ll keep you toasty warm in front of your computer until summer arrives.

                        We are great fans of them in the office, especially Ellie. It’s not often you’ll see her eagerly typing away without his cute little face peeping out from under an item of her clothing! As you can see from the desperate look on this one’s face, he can’t wait to be won.

                        We’ll allocate one winner from the first 25 people to like our Facebook page, and after 50 likes, we’ll allocate another.

                        Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seven-Creative-design-agency/135031813196711 or use the button below for your chance to win the lovely fellow! Good Luck!

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                          Written by Chris

                          March 1st, 2012 at 1:55 pm

                          Dunston Lodge website launch

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                            Our recent project to revamp Dunston Lodge’s website is finally complete, and we’re all very happy with the results!

                             

                            Dunston Lodge boarding kennels is located in Chesterfield, and the dog boarding facilities it provides are top notch. With more than 25 years experience, Dunston Lodge has an enviable reputation for providing first class kennel accommodation and care for dogs.

                            The kennels are open for boarding 365 days of the year, providing accommodation for long stays or short stays, as well as for day boarding.

                            Dogs staying at Dunston Lodge are well-fed & well-exercisedbathed and groomedfully insured and have the added security of a vet being on call 24 hours a day. The kennels also cater for any special dietary requirements, and have the staff and facilities to care for elderly or convalescing dogs or those needing special treatments.

                            Chris Day, Principle Designer at Seven Creative says: “As Dunston Lodge continues to grow and develop as a business, we felt that the old site wasn’t communicating the quality and breadth of the boarding kennels services as effectively as it could. Not only does the new site provide customers with all the information they could possibly need, it looks great too!

                            And most importantly, Dunston Lodge boarding kennels owner Julie Harrington is very happy with the results too. She says, “Our new site looks great! It’s fresh and bright, with more photographs of our boarding facilities, information on our grooming services and pamper days , and all our latest news. We also have a guestbook where customers can leave their own comments about why they choose to use Dunston Lodge.”

                            For more information on boarding kennels in Chesterfield, visit Dunston Lodge’s new website at http://www.dunstonlodge.com/

                             

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                              Written by Chris

                              March 1st, 2012 at 1:16 pm