Website grants for small or start-up businesses in Chichester

To drive new and increased business, and to create growth, Chichester District Council’s Economic Development Service is offering focussed grants of up to £1,000 to help establish high quality websites, e-commerce and mobile sites for start-ups and small businesses.

Web development has moved extremely fast in recent years, and customer use of the internet has developed significantly. Many websites are now slow and poorly laid-out by current customer expectations. This includes a significant number built as recently as 3 or 4 years ago which are now in need of updating. Additionally, older websites are often incapable of being used effectively on mobile platforms such as smart phones & tablets, as they were not designed with such platforms in mind.

For the majority of businesses their website is an essential customer-facing tool. Many, such as restaurants, visitor attractions, local accommodation, events, retailers and business-to-business suppliers, have customers who expect to be able to access products online.

Objectives of the scheme

  • To enable recently launched businesses to establish a high-quality and engaging web presence quickly and affordably
  • To enable small businesses needing to make the move into online sales and bookings to add an e-commerce module quickly and affordably
  • To enable small businesses with existing websites to improve and upgrade their sites to meet current customer expectations, and to ensure their sites are ‘mobile’ ‘friendly’
  • The grant made will be up to 50% of eligible costs (excluding VAT) and a maximum contribution of £1000. Payment will be made to the organisation that has made the application and no work should be undertaken until written approval from the Council is received.

Are you eligible?

  • Businesses must be based in the Chichester District.
  • Grant approval must be given prior to the work commencing.
  • You can have up to 10 paid staff.
  • You can apply for an upgrade to an existing website, but it must be at least one year old.
  • You are encouraged to use a website designer in the district.
  • The deadline for receipt of applications is 20 February 2014.
  • All grant monies must be spent by 31 March 2014

Need a local website designer?
TM Design are Chichester-based website designers specialising in getting your business online with a stunning new website. We will design and build you a fully device responsive and user-editable website, built on the latest technology. We’re also experts in e-commerce websites for online shops. Call 01243 771930 today or get in touch here.

The Common Denominator

In a crowded marketplace, where every business in your sector is claiming to offer the best product or service, how do you stand out from the crowd and draw your share of the market?

There is one overarching factor that sets highly successful businesses apart from the ordinary.

In a word, brand.

Some of the most memorable brands have been based on the expertise and goodwill painstakingly created by their founders – for example, Virgin. These brands have, in turn, led to the creation of strings of related businesses under their respective umbrellas, each endorsed, strengthened and given massive credibility by their parent brand.

Taking your business’ brand to the next stage could be key to your success.

Of course, a brand is much more than simply a logo. But the brand identity is the best place to start, as it’s creation, along with it’s subordinate graphic elements (eg. typefaces, photography and image style, layout style), act as an embodiment of your business’ ethos and offer a renewed sense of purpose and destiny, pulling together staff and stakeholders alike and pointing everyone firmly in the same direction.

If you have brand, the possibilities are endless.

Want to know how we create brand identities that position our clients above their competitors? Contact us to find out more.

So, what exactly do you do?

When you run a small business, you are the business. You may not have the resources of BP or Nestlé; but what you do have is you. Every relationship you build has the potential to be a business relationship.

That means you need to think seriously about how you present yourself (your Personal Brand), and by extension your business (your Brand), to the people you meet. There’s a difference between knowing what you do and knowing how to talk about what you do. So the next time someone asks what you do, these points might help:

1. It’s not all about you. This is the old story about the man who wants to buy a 5mm drill bit, but not really wanting the drill bit at all – what he really wants is a 5mm hole. If your business is cleaning people’s houses you might be surprised to learn that you don’t really clean homes. What you actually do is give people time to focus on their families, or turn homes into sources of peace rather than sources of guilt. Start thinking about your business in your customers’ terms, rather than in your own. Their reasons for hiring you should be the foundation of your marketing communications.

2. Mugs, Elevators and Shakespeare. There are three different levels of marketing communication. You need to work out when to use which.

The mug: if you had to fit what you do on the side of a mug, what would it be? 5 seconds of speech – no more. When you’ve worked it out, how about putting it on the reverse of your business card?

The elevator pitch: in the time it takes to get to the 4th floor – 20 seconds – describe yourself and your business. What will you say?

Shakespeare: if someone is really interested in what you do, then you have permission to launch into the soliloquy.

3. Experiment. Edison tried thousands of times before getting a light bulb to work. It may take you a few attempts to get your message right. Aim for “interesting, tell me more!” not “what do you mean by that?”.

When you find what works, you’ll know it.
Doing this is hard work, sometimes very hard work. Crafting effective marketing communications takes patience, discipline, and creativity.

But it pays off when someone asks:
‘So, what do you do?’

Dump the ‘dit’

With many years of typographical experience, I finally feel compelled to rant about one of my pet typographical hates.

You see them everywhere if you look – even produced by so-called ‘respected’ design outfits. A couple of weeks ago, to my amazement, the BBC put out a programme title logo containing one.

I’m talking about the prime symbol, generic apostrophe or what I call the ‘dit’ [ ‘ ]. It should not to be confused with the apostrophe: [ ’ ]. The prime symbol represents feet (ft), arcminutes (am) and minutes (min). It has mathematical uses too, but I was never much good at that.

Once upon a time, when we used olde fashioned typewriters, we had an excuse, because that was all there was if we wanted to apply an apostrophe (punching a hole in the paper in the process).

Not any more. We’ve become so used to our software automatically inserting ‘typographer’s quotes’ that we don’t even notice when the odd ‘dit’ creeps in.

One of the late, great Steve Jobs’ gifts to us all is hidden away in the iPad and iPhone’s virtual keyboard. Try it if you have one. Hold down the apostrophe key and voilà – you’re presented with an array of options! Now, even you travelling bloggers have no excuse. So, unless you’re talking time, feet or formulae – please dump the ‘dit.’

It’s a sign…

Chichester College has been busy over the summer, rolling out it’s new campus signage designed by Tim Mulkern Design Chichester. The signs were manufactured and installed by local signmakers Supersigns.

The project involved over 60 directional and identifier signs of varying complexity over two campuses – Chichester and Brinsbury College. It’s too early to measure effectiveness of the new signage, but so far the signs are good.

[button color=”color” url=””]View project[/button]