Shane Webster

Director at Seventy9

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I'm writing this on the eve of the May Day Bank Holiday which means that we are already a third of the way through 2022. I always compare like for like the period from the previous year and we are around 15% up in terms of turnover which is great... But the flip side is that our cost base has gone up proportionately! One of the most challenging things about running a small business is making sure that you get the balance right in terms of investment alongside growth. We continue to try and market ourselves more in order to generate more enquiries, and for a small company our advertising spend is quite high. That said, the ROI makes it justifiable. I am quite obsessed with numbers (always have been for some sad reason!) and if they add up, that's cool with me.

I find it very frustrating when clients do not monitor where their enquiries come from and then decide to reduce their ad/marketing spend without any idea as to what that money is generating in terms of new business! My background before becoming a partner of a digital agency was predominantly selling advertising space, so it's fair to say I am a great believer in it. I know roughly what it costs for our business to generate a lead, whether that’s via Google Ads, time spent on sales calls or in other areas. It's fair to say that at the moment Google Ads generate us the best return, so we continue to try and roll out what we are doing whilst maintaining to hit 'the sweet spot' which is what it's all about. It's not easy, but we try and practice what we preach!

Next week, we are having a bit of an internal reshuffle and one of our team members will be helping the Creative side of our business with our social media. We have several very happy clients that outsource this to us, however we want to ramp things up and in the coming months I really want to see us pushing 'LinkedIn' social media management because that platform is most appropriate for a high number of our clients. We simply do not have enough man (or lady) hours at the moment to proactively approach our client base en masse, however that will change soon! Most companies are very poor when it comes to their own social media, simply because thinking of engaging content daily is extremely difficult. What platforms they should concentrate on (there are so many) is always up for debate as well. Then there's the matter of finding time... Which is where we obviously come in!

Shane's Allotment

Just the one site has gone live this week.... Ottewill Silversmiths please, take a look. It's built on a WordPress platform. It's taken quite some time to get live and we hope our client is very happy with it. It's been challenging at times (for good reasons) - most people know that a website isn't something that realistically goes from being built from scratch to live in a matter of weeks. That said, we were confident that a couple of others would be signed off but that hasn't been the case... I *think* the forthcoming long weekend has a lot to answer for as people use their holiday allocation!

Outside of work, I've got a weekend of sport and seaside to look forward to. Rugby tonight (Northampton Saints) who themselves have a massive game (4th v 3rd) as they seek their place in the end of season playoffs for the league title... And then the huge one for yours truly... Northampton Town v Exeter tomorrow afternoon. If we win both our final games, we are promoted... Simples! I'm VERY nervous, only football fans will 'get that'! :) I hope my trip down to the East Coast tomorrow evening is a joyous one!

I've been 'battering it' down at our allotment this week. The photo shows where we are at with that. It doesn't look great but it's 80% dug over now, and hopefully by the end of next week it will be fully dug over and we've managed to get the main crop potatoes in as well as the onions. Lot's going on with seed trays but planting them out is a few weeks away still. I find my time at the allotment a great escapism and invaluable to my own mental health. During the lockdowns it was my 'daily exercise' and without that hobby I would have really struggled because I simply must be doing something pretty much from the moment, I get up to around two hours before I go to bed. Hyperactive, me!

Have a great bank holiday... We go again next Tuesday!

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