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Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight Summary of all links

(40 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread. Read here.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Oct-13 08:25:37

Do you own your own online business? Thinking about starting one? Want to make your off line business online? Have an interest in all things business? Read on!

It's time to kick off the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight!
Today Barclays are tackling one of the key building blocks you need to take your business to the next level online.

Barclays say "Across the next two weeks we’ll have experts taking us through topics like social media, building a website, and marketing on a shoestring (take a look at the full programme now). It’s all designed to help you with the things that really matter – more customers; better brand awareness; cost effectiveness; and growing your business".

They also want to hear your suggestions and feedback. What's working? What's not? What do you need more info on? What have you already got sorted?

So, Day 1! Your business website. Barclays have experts talking building, hosting and maintenance – as well as helping to answer that all-important question: do you really need a business website? Let them know your thoughts below and share your experiences of this – good, bad and ugly!

Please note Barclays may use any tips or comments you make on these pages in future content. Please only add your comment if you consent to this – your tips will, of course, be anon.

MNHQ
PS please do bookmark this page for future updates across the next 2 weeks.

xxxkadzxxx Mon 07-Oct-13 12:26:37

How do you build a website yourself using wordpress? roughly how much does a designer cost to hire? thanks

kateandme Mon 07-Oct-13 22:17:41

i think a website is essential.espceiclaly these days.everybody is on the web.there are so many platforms too!!you can be walking around see a sign,an idea or even someone walking with a cake and want to no where to get it from.then its a quick step on your phone to look for the product/information/location.so webstie i think are essential.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-Oct-13 10:51:49

We're entering into the world of social media in the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight – how do you make the most of the different channels out there?

Twitter? Facebook? Google+? When it comes to social media, you need to know your Pins from your posts, so Barclays have social media expert, Ian Betteridge to give us the lowdown on the different social channels and how to decide which one is right for your business.

Share your tips on how you use social media for your business below and remember to add any thoughts you have about the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight.

Here's the latest link: www.mumsnet.com/microsites/barclays/business/which-social-platform-is-right-for-you

Marking place, I have questions but am busy right now...

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-Oct-13 13:37:13
Alicadabra Tue 08-Oct-13 14:09:18

xxxkadzxxx

When you ask "How do you build a website yourself using wordpress?", I assume you mean you want your own domain name and website rather than a blog? If you're technically minded, try the wordpress.org Getting Started guide. Otherwise I'd recommend starting with YouTube where there are loads of tutorials - it's much less daunting if you see it in action rather than reading reams of tech jargon! Type in 'get started with WordPress' or similar and see what comes up.

(The blog option is easy: just sign up at www.wordpress.com, tinker with a few design settings and start writing!)

The cost of designers varies enormously depending on location, experience and, above all, what you actually need your website to do!

This is a useful tool for getting a rough idea of price, based on what you need and what you can do yourself (in US$).

From my own experience (I'm a self-employed web editor/designer), I'd generally charge from £400-£700 to scope, design and build a basic 'brochure-style' website using WordPress CMS. Adding features like e-commerce could cost another few hundred pounds, depending on scale and complexity. Agencies will charge considerably more than freelancers like me but you'll also get more specialist expertise (by definition a one-man-band is going to be an all-rounder whereas a larger agency should give you access to dedicated designers, writers, coders etc).

I hope that helps!

nobutreally Tue 08-Oct-13 22:31:24

I've been freelancing for 10 years - pt mostly, but still, enough work to keep me busy & some nice clients ... but have never got round to sorting a website out.

I KNOW this is appalling (not least because my clients take the piss) but if feels like such a minefield, I just never get round to making a call to get things moving. What I want/need is a template - how to find an agency (I know what I want is uber simple); rough costs to expect; 10 things people usually cock up on; template brief for a website (spaces to fill in target audience, core goals for website; what values you want to project etc etc)

On social media: as a B2B provider, I'm all about twitter - which I lurrrrve, as a water-cooler/opportunity to chat to anyone and everyone. Fb is about personal life; when I'm not busy I aim to spend 15 mins - usually first thing or lunch time - both reading and posting (topical thoughts; retweets; nearly always business focused only)

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 09-Oct-13 08:12:22

Today is all about rules, regulations and good manners online.

Time to mind your Ps and Qs! When it comes to publishing online, there's a lot to think about, so Barclays have broken down some Dos and Don'ts, so you can keep an eye on your online etiquette, your rights, and avoid trouble ahead. And you can take the quiz to make sure you?re up to speed. Share your scores below ? if you dare!

And remember, Barclays want to hear how you're getting on so far:
Ready to build your website? Feeling social media savvy? Let them know your suggestions for the rest of the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight now!

Alicadabra Wed 09-Oct-13 12:57:12

nobutreally - finding a web design agency is just like finding an agency for anything else really: search online, look at the work they've already done, but most of all talk to them (ideally phone/face to face, not via email) and see who seems to understand what you want - and understands your budget!

For rough costs, see the link in my previous post. I could answer the rest but this would become rather an epic post! (Perhaps I should do a blog post on this for my own website?) However, it sounds like you're asking yourself absolutely the right sort of questions e.g. who is this website for and how will I know if it's working?

You asked about the 'biggest mistakes' - in my view the absolute killer mistake (which loads of companies make) is not thinking enough the audience for the website. Other things to watch out for are making sure you take time to plan properly before you start building the website and making sure that you allow enough time / resources to keep it updated it once it's live.

Alicadabra Wed 09-Oct-13 13:00:11

Phew, I passed the online etiquette quiz with flying colours. That would have been embarrassing otherwise! wink

89%, not too shabby. I'd like to know which one I got wrong though.
I'm a storyteller, and my website enables me to reach a wider audience, driving a fair proportion of my new business.
I built my own website on Wordpress, do my own SEO, and have a presence on FB, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+.
I have thus far avoided Twitter, as to get it right you need to take a fair bit of time (which is precious).
Am I shooting myself in the foot by neglecting Twitter (other people share my name on there, but I've never used it personally), or am I best taking a pragmatic approach, after all, I need time to actually do the job I'm publicising!

nobutreally Wed 09-Oct-13 15:24:13

89% too -I'd like to know which one I got wrong as well!

Thanks for that, Alicadabra - I'm in marketing (loosely..) - & indeed have run a number of web usability projects, so I really ought to know what to do, but I think the idea of talking to geeks who I won't understand is just too scary <puts on big girl pants>
And the whole budget thing - how would I know what a sensible budget is (I will look at your link as that's been something I have struggled with, so thanks for that!)

Oooh 100%! <preens>

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Oct-13 08:15:06

Well done folks....back to school for me blush

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Oct-13 08:17:08

Online marketing for free?! Thats todays topic in the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight

Free marketing for your business sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, the Barclays dedicated experts have top tips and advice on how to do just that take advantage of the internet to spread the word and create some buzz around your business without dipping into your profits.

Take a look at these free marketing ideas now.

They'd love to hear your suggestions for how you can get your business out there for next to nothing.

PS: don't forget to add a question/ bookmark the forthcoming live chat with experts including our very own Justine

I make the most of free marketing opportunities:
-free FB, google+, LinkedIn accounts raise the SEO of my website.
-my Wordpress blog was free, and signposts to/from my social media platforms.
-I write "advertorials" for publications aimed at my demographic, for free advertising with a wide circulation.
-I have free online adverts wherever I can get them (including NetMumsshock)
-I advertise on Mumsnet Local, and plug the business at meet-ups.

Alicadabra Thu 10-Oct-13 13:34:51

"Free marketing for your business sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?"

Yes, it does and that's because, in a way, it is. All these ideas are sound ways to get noticed, and clearly far cheaper than other marketing options, but I think it's slightly misleading to call them "free". What a lot of people seem to underestimate is the value of their own/their employees' time. Just because you're not paying out directly in cash doesn't mean it's not costing you!

Alicadabra Thu 10-Oct-13 13:41:26

nobutreally - I'm even worse! My business is building and advising on websites - but do I follow the advice I give my clients when it comes to my own web presence? Erm...

(PS. at the risk of being told off by MNHQ for touting for business, feel free to DM me if you want more advice/a quote - geek free, I promise!)

Alicadabra Thu 10-Oct-13 13:43:02

InMySpareTime - bravo! (I must try harder... I must try harder... I must...)

Then again, if I don't spend my time marketing "for free" I'd get far less business, so my time would be worth less. It's a balance. I don't spend time marketing that would be better spent on profitable work, so in a sense it's "free" time for me.
I begrudge paying someone money I don't have to do what I could do myself in time I'm not using any better anyway.
This may change when my business grows, but as it takes time to explain your marketing strategy to an "expert" anyway, and to add content to social media, it seems silly to spend both time and money on it when money doesn't add much.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Oct-13 08:14:56

Friday in the Online Business Fortnight means online finance Friday! Manage your finances more easily online.

You knew Barclays couldn't go a whole fortnight without talking finances, so today they've got the lowdown on managing your finances using technology – and take some of the pain out of it while you do it – from cashflow to payment methods, the experts explain.

Get your business finances in order now, and don't forget to share your top tips below.

I'll update this thread again on Monday with a link to how design can make a difference when it comes to building your business online – turns out beauty isn't in the eye of the beholder after all!

They'll have lots more themed support and help for you next week, on everything from web design to customer relationships.

In the meantime, let Barclays know how you've been getting on with the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight so far.

And do add a question or comment for their forthcoming webchat with experts

thanks

Online finance is fine, I do a lot via PayPal and online banking. I keep my own accounts though, I like to know they're secure and kept the way I like them when it's time to file.

PrawnWidge Fri 11-Oct-13 10:32:47

I have recently started a new business with a partner, having only worked as a sole trader before. We're both new to working with someone else, so we'd be grateful for any and all tips and advice on managing the finances of the business jointly - from banking to accounting software that we can both access at any time.

I use an excel spreadsheet for my accounts. If you keep it on Dropbox or ICloud with encryption you should both be able to access it.

johnworf Fri 11-Oct-13 12:20:46

I would agree with using a spreadsheet to know where you are with money - both incoming and outgoing.

Keeping an eye on cashflow is essential, especially when you are ordering physical products.

We tend to deal on a proforma basis so that we know exactly where we are and we don't end up paying interest.

Interesting.
Apparently Barclays' idea of a "business fortnight" does not include weekends.
My business fortnight does!

I wonder what's in store today?

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Oct-13 10:10:41

Welcome back to the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight – Monday means web design for your business.

Today Barclays are talking online visuals – how do you make sure your business looks up to scratch online? What takes a good business website to a great one?

After last week's web build breakdown, you should have the nuts and bolts of your web presence planned, so now we've got all the dos and don'ts you need to ensure you and your business look the part online.

Share some of your favourite examples of web design or ideas for your own site below – and don’t forget to let us know how you’re getting on so far with the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight.

I did my own web design, based on a Wordpress template.
My brother is studying Graphic Design, he did my logo free and put it in his portfolio. My sister runs intranets and is a social media expert, she sends me articles about new social media trends and set up my WP.com user account.
I probably don't give my websites the time I should (about 1hr a week), but I get enough work through them so must be doing something right...

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 15-Oct-13 08:12:00

More from the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight with social media and your business.

Day Seven of the Online Business Fortnight and Barclays are taking on social media. They look at how you can build your brand on social media, talk to your customers and even bag some new ones.

What do you reckon; can social media really work for businesses?

And -

Let us know your social media successes and fails now!

Remember to enter the Barclays social media prize draw for your chance to win one of these great prizes: a ticket to a Barclays Thrive Online seminar (including £400 of vouchers for online marketing), a mentoring session with expert, Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet, or lots of inspiring business books to help you on your way.

PS. How are you getting on so far? Have you designed your web presence yet?

escape Tue 15-Oct-13 08:33:30

The message to tweet is longer than 140 characters - not being pedantic, just saying smile

johnworf Tue 15-Oct-13 09:15:24

We used Wordpress - fairly cheap to buy the template, plug-ins freely available, compatible with e-commerce. Back end is fairly straight forward and there is a blog built in. Try Theme Forest for lots of different lay outs. If you're not au fait with with designing or building your own site then you could go for an easy e-commerce package such as bigcartel. Very easy to use. Downside is you pay a a subscription each month.

For logo's, headers, graphics, and so much more, have a look at fiverr. This is a website where professionals will do work for you starting at $5. You have options to add on to this (at a very reasonable rate) e.g. owning the license for a graphic/logo.

For great fonts look at font squirrel. Contemporary fonts that are free to download.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 15-Oct-13 13:19:13

thanks escape.....

tweet for the prize draw is now;

I've entered the Barclays on Mumsnet #onlinebizfortnight prize draw. Find out more at http://bit.ly/19BOFJO (T&Cs apply)

find out more here

kateandme Wed 16-Oct-13 01:29:37

ve heard from many business that social media in todays climate is essential.people dont pay for magazines or booklets.so many people are on the web nowadays its where you get noticed.
blogs are ezpecially helpful.with things being so much online it seems people still like to no the day to day of business dealings and goings on.makes people feel included in the brand.
i have found that if anyone wants to know about businness social media or websties are the places they will go.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Oct-13 08:11:57

It's networking Wednesday in the Online Business Fortnight

Time to network! The Barclays networking experts look at how to build a business network that really works for you, including how to turn that into more customers, lucrative skills-sharing and a group of expert supporters.

So, is networking just a buzzword? Share your best networking tips, and why not throw out some requests for skills-shares or support, while you're at it?

Remember to keep Barclays posted on how you're finding the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight too!

And please do add a question for the experts lined up for the LIVE webchat tomorrow - questions can be posted in advance or during the chat thanks

My top networking tip:
Find people who work with the demographic you're after. Share their work with your followers and they'll (usually) return the favour.
Think how your business can complement other businesses, and work together, not to steal their business, but to expand the market for both your products.
For example: I have just finished a book of stories, each story is 100 words long. I've teamed up with a children's drama coach, because as part of the level 2 drama exam they need to memorise and recite a passage exactly 100 words long.
The coach used to spend evenings finding book passages and counting words, now she can just direct parents to buy my book.

johnworf Wed 16-Oct-13 09:44:05

See if there are any networking groups in your area (or out of your area that you can get to). These are a great source of meeting small business owners who can share tips, gives seminars on various topics business related and put leads your way.

Use Twitter to find people/businesses with similar interests to yours or that would complement your products/services. Get interacting with them! The same with Google +, Linked In and Facebook. I use Pinterest too.

UK Business Forums website is a great source of information and you will also find other people on there that may be useful.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-Oct-13 08:16:23

With a follow-up to last week, we're looking at paid-for online marketing today – but on a budget!

Today Barclays are digging a bit deeper into online marketing opportunities - from sponsored content to advertising on social media and search engines.

Find lots of different options for your business that won't blow your spreadsheets – not to mention great ways to find out more about your customers and how to market to them.

Why not share your marketing ideas below and see if anyone would bite? And don't forget to share how you're getting on with all the other elements of the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight

and it's webchat day!

I have never paid for online marketing, I get enough business through free channels and word of mouth.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-Oct-13 08:06:57

It's Friday and that means the last day of the Barclays on Mumsnet Online Business Fortnight and we're talking customer matters.

Now you're getting into tip-top shape online, how can you encourage the customers you've got, grab some new ones, and remind some of your more forgetful ones that you and your business still exist?

Barclays have got fantastic tips and ideas from their experts on how to make the most of your customer database, and how the internet can help you stay front of mind, whatever your business.

MN and Barclays hope you've now got the tools you need to take your business to the next level online – share your success stories with on this thread now, and keep a lookout next week for the round-up of the fortnight, including all-new top tips from our experts!

You can see all the support and expert tips, plus much more now at Barclays on Mumsnet.

And do check out the hectic webchat from last night - hope it was useful

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