6 Top Tips for Small Business Owners During the Corona Virus uncertainties

At Dark Cherry Creative we understand the problems businesses will face during such uncertain times. With the media and especially social media not letting up on the topic it is proving worrying times for business owners and their customers. Some of which can make uncomfortable viewing with whole countries in lock down and daily Government updates scheduled, flight terminals and borders closing if not already closed. It’s going to be hard we know that but, do what you do best! Promote your business and personal brand, support others and keep showing your values and we hope the tips below will help.

Number One – We would advise all small business owners to follow all suggestions made by the government and health officials, this won’t be easy, but it is the safest option for all concerned.

Number Two – If meetings do have to be cancelled how about organising a web call meeting through something like Zoom, or Skype perhaps. This way you can still “meet” and discuss what was on the agenda for your meeting, without having to hold off and lose ground.

Number Three – Have a look at cashflow! These worrying times would make perfect opportunity to look at your cashflow. Start with an overview of your invoices and accounts, this will make you aware of any money owed and when it is due to arrive. If you are in the unfortunate predicament where you may not or are not receiving monies owed, there are various options available to you. 

Number Four – DO NOT stop your marketing! This will eventually come to an end and whilst your competitors may have turn down paid ads to lower their costs. Your message and brand will still be placed in front of potential customers. Putting a complete stop to your marketing could be dangerous for the long term.

Number Five – Do not be afraid to ask for help, accountants, solicitors, financial advisors, investors, Virtual Assistants and HR Specialists are all more than willing to help assess any situations or issues you may come across, don’t try make do! Seek advice.

Number Six –Try keep positive! Let’s use local companies where possible and let each and every person around us know that we are there to support and help however possible, whether that be business or personally. Let’s all work together.

We hope these tips help and we are aware there are so many more to give, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

The Danger of being a strictly ‘Bricks and Mortar’ Business

In today’s world, an online presence is important for any business. But why is that?  Well, depending on your type of business you can benefit from it in a multitude of different ways.  However, whatever your business – being online is paramount to successful marketing.  Social media is one of the biggest tools we have at our disposal for marketing, especially targeted marketing. 

In 2019, the Yellow Pages ceased the printing and distribution of their famous bright yellow directories, having moved from print to digital.  This goes to show that customers are now searching online for businesses and products rather than picking up the phone book.  So, let’s look at how much further a website and a strong online presence can take your business.

For this example, we will say your business is a painting and decorating company.  A potential customer goes online and searches “painter and decorator in my local area”.  The top result may well be yell.co.uk, in which case there will be contact details for various companies in the area.  For some – that’s as far as online presence goes.

However, you appear in the top 5 Google results.  The customer goes to your website.  On your site is information on your company, the services you offer, perhaps some guide prices, a photo reel highlighting some of the work you’ve done previously and of course – positive customer reviews.  There’s also links to your social media feeds.  Facebook shows more customer reviews, comments, likes, shares of your work.  Constantly reaching a wider audience.  On Facebook you can join the local community group and post details of your business there.

The “shareability” of social media makes reaching thousands of people very easy to do and can be very cost effective.   

A survey carried out in 2019 showed that 90% of people use the internet to find local businesses, with 33% looking daily.  82% of customers read online reviews for local businesses and 97% read the businesses’ replies to the reviews.

There has never been a more important time to ‘go online’ as a business.  Contact Dark Cherry today to discuss how we can help you further your customer base and assist you going forward.

A Brand New Start in 2020

Is it time to rebrand? Well, to answer that question let’s start with what your brand actually is. Is it your logo, company name, company message or mission or maybe it’s the colour of your business cards.

Brand is all of these things.  It’s the way you interact with customers without even speaking to them.  Your brand sends a message to your consumer-base about your company.  A strong, consistent brand makes customers more confident in your business and can help to establish you amongst competitors.  Think of any successful business; from Apple all the way to YouTube, they all have recognisable brands. 

So, are you sending the right message? Is it time your brand was updated?  In today’s app-based and internet-focussed world, it’s very important to keep your brand current and strong.  It’s often the first part of your business that customers see.  Consistency is key across all of your marketing tools; business cards, social media channels, website, etc.

Rebranding can easily become a time constraint on a company, here at Dark Cherry we can help with all of the rebranding process, from design through to implementation.  We’ll take care of all the details, leaving you to carry on running your business.

We’d love to meet you to discuss our ideas.  Get in touch today, email us at info@darkcherrycreative.co.uk.

Now now we want it now

Something you hear children say in a sweet shop or perhaps a toy shop?

Or…an adult who is shopping online? using a self serve machine? Queuing or having to wait for more than a minute for something to happen, wether it be online or in a retail environment.

As we move further in to a “self-serve” and App driven world, are we becoming so impatient we can’t wait for other brands and services to catch up? And by that I mean businesses or brands and even services that don’t allow us to do something straight away.

We are fast approaching a point of no return, some businesses could (will) potentially lose out on sales for not having FAQ’s, Pricing, the power to purchase within seconds at consumers finger tips.

Let’s use McDonald’s for example, so they have the screens in restaurants where you can customise your order…fantastic I arrive choose a screen pay for my order and skip one queue. Leaps and bounds ahead of many fast food outlets.

BUT wait McDonalds don’t stop there! You can now place your order on the McDonald’s App from wherever you wish then once you arrive in store, notify them you have arrived resulting in us even skipping the potential queues for the self serve screens!!!

This is just one example of how the world is evolving and it’s something many companies should be planning for. Could your company deliver results in this fashion? Could bots help? Perhaps email automation?

After all we wouldn’t expect potential customers to have to spend a little while of their own personal time searching for what they want to know, especially in a phase growth for marketing automation and the power of apps, bots and voice controlled devices.

To see how we can help your business deliver a customer focused experience, please don’t hesitate to contact us… NOW NOW NOW

Dark Cherry Creative are now a platinum partner of Force24

We are pleased to announce we have entered into an exciting partnership with UK marketing automation platform Force24, as part of our growth strategy for 2020 and beyond.

We have delivered more than 43 marketing, design and web development projects, for clients large and small. But with all eyes now on the next year, our co-founder Richard Mansfield sought a technology-driven solution to further improve the performance of customer Continue reading “Dark Cherry Creative are now a platinum partner of Force24”

Cheap Organic SEO Services?

  1. Full of eastern promise?

We’ve got an in-house marketing team that looks after the SEO requirements for many of our customers. Anybody with an email address and a website however will have been bombarded with emails at some point from Indian (normally) marketing companies offering fixed price results. Normally these are of a slightly dubious nature and are easily dismissed, but what is actually on offer here?

SEO – fixed price results

This is the normal lure, and the first mistake that Indian SEO companies make when pitching to an even slightly savvy customer. The fundamental truth of search engine optimisation is that there are no guarantees with regards to results; something we’re extremely open with our customers about. Search engines such as Google shift their goal often and results change as often as the wind. You can make improvements to a site and its online marketing and normally see results, however the extent to Continue reading “Cheap Organic SEO Services?”

Live chat, is it all that?

Live chat has been around for quite a while, it’s no longer an emerging technology or trend. The general idea behind it is to break down a barrier to customer engagement or cut costs by enabling support teams to deal with requests more efficiently (and therefore more cheaply).

When we say live chat, we mean any popup window / box that enables a customer to talk directly in real-time via a textual medium. A common place you’ll see this is instead of a technical support telephone number, or used alongside to take the load off time and infrastructure intensive telephone support.

In our opinion there are two main types of live chat, although they work in the same basic Continue reading “Live chat, is it all that?”

What is Bedtime Browsing!?

Good question! Bedtime browsing is an increasingly recognised lifestyle browsing pattern whereby people are making their e-commerce transactions at ungodly hours when you’d expect everyone to be safely tucked up in bed.

Why on earth would people be online making mundane household purchases at 4am in the morning you say? Well studies have shown that with increasingly busy lives people are looking to liberate some of their recreational time and do their shopping while tucked up in bed (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/sleep-problems-smart-phones-blue-light-screen-time-browsing-social-media-a8935041.html).

There are a couple of points to draw from this new trend. From a store owner’s point of view, it means Continue reading “What is Bedtime Browsing!?”

WordPress: When not to use it for your website

When to use Wordpress for a website

WordPress is a very powerful CMS for building your site on, it’s actually the most common content management system used online to this day. For this reason it’s often a lot of people’s go-to application when they’re looking to launch a website. There’s lots of justification for this, it’s popular for a reason, but there’s a little more to it that not everyone understands or takes into account.

Suitability for task

If you’re looking to launch a simple website consisting of a few pages, using a fully featured CMS like wordpress can Continue reading “WordPress: When not to use it for your website”

Get your small business found locally: My Business (formally Places)

Part one of this series discussed how to use structured data on your pages so that Google can pick up essential details about your business, and best work out what it’s actually about. Google is pretty smart about categorising pages these days, but the same old rule holds true that the more cues and clues you can give it, the better.

Google My Business is a commonly overlooked feature that allows you to control how your business information appears on result pages. This is separate from actual search results, it’s the section on the right hand side of the main listings that show you visitors your company information. Continue reading “Get your small business found locally: My Business (formally Places)”