Friday, 21 October 2011

Small Business Services are not one-size-fits-all

Of course, there are basic elements to successful business strategies but with so many variables, the best services are tailored to each company's specific needs.

Taking informational website design as an example (as opposed to e-commerce or interactive sites), there are companies that require a brochure-style presence on the internet and others that prefer an ever-changing style; some companies have the resources to update content via CMS and others don't.

When it comes to SEO/link-building services, many small businesses fail to fully grasp its importance. At Branduin, we often encounter a reluctance to undertake continuing SEO until we have fully explained the benefits.

In the Branduin team, we have a pool of expertise for SMEs to call upon when planning a company image makeover: branding, graphic design, website design, website optimisation and social media / internet marketing - the full range of company image, internet presence and website promotion services - plus general advertising, promotion and marketing advisers, too.

Branduin can help your business be found on the Internet. Contact Branduin now,
telephone 020 3195 7988

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Future of Mentoring?

Initially it was announced that 40,000 voluntary mentors would replace Business Link Advisers who have now virtually all gone. So what is the state of play today?

Mentoring has now been ‘handed over’ to 5 banks - Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander. An online "mentor portal" has been set up - www.mentorsme.co.uk - linking to a number of organisations offering mentoring services, supported by 250 small business advisers who do or did work in banks.

This approach offers choice but appears fragmented with no noticeable Quality Control - one of the mentoring organisations in the directory simply links to another list of mentors - and some of the services provided are highly expensive. For example, one SME Mentoring Package costs £2,750 per month (or a snip at £27,500 per annum if paid in advance!)

In our opinion, this doesn't fill the gap left by the demise of Business Link's Adviser service but, at Branduin, we have the experience and expertise to offer the small business owner more than just lip service. Our team members are all owners of small-medium companies who provide business services (e.g. financial, internet, HR, training, sales, marketing, etc.) and we have a genuine Business Link heritage.

Our combination of business generalists and specialists, our low cost virtual business model and our high levels of quality control combine to offer SMEs an affordable management-level team with across-the-board experience, enabling smaller companies to focus on their core business yet compete more easily with their larger competitors.

Branduin offers valuable support for the small-medium business. For a taste of the Branduin experience, view our business support services or contact Steve Forey with your questions.