Online Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

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If you’re thinking of starting up your own business soon but you aren’t sure how to go about getting those customers in through the door that you want, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Many small businesses struggle in their first few years of operation, especially if they are brick and mortar, physical stores. These days, an online presence is key to attracting and retaining a customer base, and if you think it sounds helpful to your business, check out these great online marketing strategies for smaller businesses, just like yours.

Start Small

Starting with small steps in online marketing is an important concept for small businesses. You don’t want to get too big for your boots too quickly, so consider starting with one really core aspect of online marketing about six months to a year before your official launch. A stellar website, blog chock full of great content and product pages that are relevant and eye catching are all great places to start. From there you can begin to focus on things like search engine optimisation as well as ensuring you can be found online.

Social Media Is Your Friend

The next step you might want to take is to start social media accounts for your business and ensure they are relevant, engaging and attract customers that keep coming back for more content everyday or every few days. It’s a great idea to have a humorous post or two every couple of days as well as providing details about things that people want to know about if they’re coming to your business. Relevance to your company is key. This step should be taken a couple of months before the launch of your company to ensure you have a great social media presence with followers who will show interest in your launch day and company going forward.

Create Amazing Content

On the back of the relevant content – make sure you create relevant amazing content. It sounds difficult but it really isn’t. You can spend the time making blog posts, scheduling social media posts and creating really cool content that brings something of value to your website and social media presence. This will help engage your customers and keep them coming back for more – increasing the likelihood they will come into your business and think of you first when they need a product or service that you provide. Not sure how to create amazing content? There are many ideas online such as revamping old content from similar sources and putting your own spin on it, or telling stories and using tasteful, appropriate humour.

These are just a couple of small steps you can take to help start up a great website and social media presence for any small business before you launch. With both of these, you can’t go wrong in today’s online world.

 

Dental Implants and What To Expect  

Just before Christmas I knocked out two of my front teeth whilst playing football and as you can imagine the difference in my smile was pretty noticeable! I decided that the best option to replace my teeth was to get some dental implants and given that I hadnt been to the dentist in quite some time, I had to find somewhere new. As it happens there are plenty of specialists in my area and when it comes to dental implants Surrey is awash with specialists in this field. I thought Id speak a little about my experience with you so that you know what to expect should you decide on dental implants.  

 

What Are They? 

Dental implants are basically false teeth which are attached directly to your jawbone. There are various reasons why you may opt for this surgery, it may be as a result of an accident like mine, or perhaps the dentist has been forced to extract your old tooth because of decay or disease. There are two types of implants you can get, the first is a single tooth screwed directly into the jawbone and the second is a metal bracket which is attached to the jawbone which then houses the tooth or teeth which are to be implanted.  

 

Pre Op   

Prior to the operation you will talk through the process with your dentist and you will also have a CT scan so that they can highlight exactly where the tooth will be going. This CT scan will also be able to show the dentist whether or not you have sufficient bone in the jaw, which is required in order for the implant to stay fixed.  

 

The Surgery   

I decided to be put to sleep for this surgery because I just loathe any kind of treatment like this, but you can opt for local anesthetic when you have your implants put in. I have friends who did this under local anesthetic and they said that other than it being uncomfortable, they felt no pain at all during the implant procedure. For me I simply breathed in the air and then fell asleep, before waking up to a dull ache in the mouth.  

 

Post Surgery  

The entire recovery process is actually between 3-6 months but you will only feel pain and swelling for the initial few weeks. Your doctor or dentist will have a solid plan for your recovery which will involve taking pain relief to help you during the initial recovery. For me the only times that I felt pain was first thing in the morning and whenever the pain relief wore off. The biggest thing that you will struggle with is the uncomfortable feeling in your mouth, and you will have to make sure that you are careful in terms of your food intake, soups, smoothies and yoghurts will probably be your life for the first few days. Once you get past the 7 day mark you will feel infinitely better, and the swelling will have reduced entirely.  

 

This sounds like a horrible surgery but you really shouldnt worry, the dentists know what they are doing and you will be absolutely fine.  

Dental Implant FAQs Answered  

 Last year I knocked out one of my incisors when I was playing rugby and instead of leaving a gaping hole in my smile I decided to get an implant. In terms of dental implants Sheffield has some of the best dentists who offer this service and so after seeking the right dentist to perform the surgery, I decided to get it done as soon as possible. Whether you are afraid of going to the dentist or not, this is certainly a procedure which can instill a bit of fear in you and so today I want to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants, in order to put your mind at ease.  

 

Why? 

 

Dental implants are for patients who have their adult teeth and they either lose one in an accident or because of health issues or if the dentist needs to remove one.  

 

How Do They Do It? 

 

To place an implant into your mouth the dentist will need to use the jawbone to fix the new tooth and ensure that it is just as strong as the others. There are two procedures which are used here which are endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. In the case of the endeosteal implants these are teeth which are screwed directly into your jawbone. Once the gum tissue around the area is healed, a second surgery will be needed where the dentist will then fit a supporting post, which is what the tooth will fix on to. The subperiosteal implant will involve the dentist screwing a metal frame to the jawbone which will then support the tooth or teeth which will then be implanted.  

 

Requirements? 

 

In order for you to be considered for implants you should have healthy gums and and adequate bone in the jaw in order to support the implant. Additionally you should ensure a commitment to meticulous oral hygiene and taking care of your teeth and especially the implant.  

 

Cost? 

 

These implants arent cheap and whilst prices vary from dentist to dentist, the average cost of a treatment such as this is £2,340. Many dentists may offer payment plans which you can utilize to financially support you in getting this treatment completed.  

 

Expectations? 

 

Even though you already know that I have had an implant put in my mouth, if I challenged you to guess which one when looking at them then you wont be able to do so. The implant is shaped and colored to seamless slot in amongst your regular teeth and the results look great.  

 

Pain? 

 

You will most likely be put to sleep during the procedure and so the only pain which you will feel is during your recovery. There will definitely be some aching in the days and weeks after the surgery which you can manage with over-the-counter pain relief. Remember that both your jaw and your gums are affected so it will take some time. Be prepared with foods which are easy to digest and make sure you have plenty of pain relief.  

 

Any more questions please dont hesitate to get in touch using the comments section below.  

Top UK Destinations For Family Holidays

 

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Are you thinking of just what to do for the upcoming summer? Maybe you’ve played with the idea of heading abroad, but you aren’t quite sure the money is there this year. Never fear! There are great vacations to be had all over the UK in a number of different areas that are easy to get to from almost anywhere. Here are a couple of our top picks for great family or couples holidays in your own backyard for this summer and summers to come!

Snowdonia, North Wales

Snowdonia is a beautiful region in northern Wales, not far from the north coast. The inland National Park is home to some of the most quaint and beautiful villages such as the picturesque Betws-y-Coed and Beddgelert, you will have no trouble with finding something to do each and every day. The handy thing too is that there’s an inexpensive bus that connects many of the main villages from Betws-y-Coed to Llanberis, past many of the trailheads for Mount Snowdon, making it easy to go for a short hike around the mountain – or for climbing it if you’re so inclined!

Pembrokeshire, South Wales

Pembrokeshire is one of those locations where you want to stay forever. With quaint harbour villages set in valleys to the rocky cliffs where hiking is king, Pembrokeshire is an outdoor lovers’ dream. Check out Whitesands Bay near St David’s for a great day on the beach with its pristine sands and blue waters. Newgale, not far from St David’s is home to another sandy beach, great surf for bodyboarding and some unique rock formations along the cliff edges.

Cornwall

Cornwall is easily the most sought after destination for families across the UK during the summer holidays. With so many different things to see and do including exploring old copper mine chimneys, hiking rugged coastal trails, frolicking on white sand beaches or bodyboarding on some impressive surf in St Ives, there’s no end to excitement in Cornwall. Holiday parks in Cornwall make for a great place to stay and allow you a place to call your own while you unwind at the end of a busy day. For one of the best, check out

Perran Springs Holiday Park

Goonhavern

Truro

Cornwall

TR4 9QG

Wiltshire

Wiltshire is one of the lesser visited counties these days but has a whole lot to offer the family that is looking for something really cool and unique in terms of a holiday. From Salisbury with its impressive cathedral, old Charter Market dating back to the 1200s and historical pubs (honestly, check out the Haunch of Venison!) and neolithic old city to the White Horses of Wiltshire – ideal for a road trip idea – you will find no end to the possibilities of fun in Wiltshire. For a really cool holiday, consider renting a longboat and drifting up and down the Kennet and Avon canal, stopping off in idyllic villages to explore.

So there you have a couple of truly awesome holiday ideas for this coming summer that are all right in the UK! Who would have thought one country could have so many amazing things to see and do for all the family from ages eight to eighty?

Top Teachers Gifts Ideas For 2019 And Beyond

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While Christmas may be over, there’s still the year end to come, along with a number of other reasons why you might want to give your child’s teacher a gift. Perhaps it’s their birthday, Easter break or just to say ‘thanks for being such a huge help’ or ‘thanks for all that work you do’. Recognising teachers is a great way to show your appreciation and the best way is through small tokens and gifts. If you aren’t sure what you should be getting your child’s teacher, here are some great ideas for teachers gifts.

A Simple Card

Cards are a great way to show a teacher your appreciation for the excellent work they do in educating your child. Cards can be simple or elegant and extravagant and are always a touching, lovely way to thank a teacher for all the hard work they do in the classroom and outside of it with supervision at lunch times, parent teacher conferences and lesson planning. Not only that, but cards are something they can keep for years to look back on.

A Small Trinket or Jewelry

A small piece of jewelry such as a bracelet or necklace can be a lovely way to really show that super special teacher that you and your child care. Many children have at least one ultimately favourite teacher through their school life, especially in primary school, that one teacher that seems to really shape their learning and seems to almost always be there. Jewelry can be the ideal way to really show that special teacher just how important they are to your child.

Chocolates

Chocolates are often the go-to teacher gift because they’re easy and people will almost always eat chocolate or they can serve them at dinner parties, when they have friends around or for holidays such as Christmas. Chocolates can also come in a whole range from really basic Celebrations boxes all the way up to extra extravagant chocolate brands such as Godiva, Lindor or Ferrero Roche.

Mugs

Mugs are an awesome gift for teachers and many places online now offer services where you can make mugs that say certain things for far cheaper than buying them in the shops. Try to stay away from cliche slogans like ‘World’s Greatest Teacher’ and the like as chances are they’ve already got about a thousand of those collecting dust at home. Instead go with something like a photo of the class, typical teacher style clip art like apples and rulers or something fun and funky like emojis or the like.

Photo Frames

Photo frames are never a bad idea for anyone as a gift and are useable over and over again in a number of different situations. Unlike mugs too, it’s unlikely that a teacher will have a ton of photo frames from their students, so this is a good bet for that great gift that will stand out without necessarily having ‘World’s Best Teacher’ emblazoned across it.

With so many cool ideas for teachers gifts that you and your child can give the teacher this year to show your appreciation, you will have no trouble finding the perfect way to say thanks. What will you choose? How do you say thanks to teachers? We’d love to hear from you!

Why Your Kids Will Love a Family Camping Trip

In the last few years my family and I have taken holidays to Disney World, to some of the most beautiful Greek islands and to The Great Barrier Reef. Despite having been to some of the world’s most popular destinations however if you ask my kids what their favorite types of holidays are, they will tell you camping in the UK.

We generally go on one foreign vacation each year and then we always try to get a weekend or longer at a UK campsite, we have been camping in Cornwall, in the Scottish Highlands and in the Yorkshire Dales in the last few years and the kids simply adore these trips. If you aren’t sure whether camping would be a good type of holiday to take your kids on, here are just a few reasons why I think that they’ll absolutely love it.

Nature

Many of us moan that our kids spend too much time on video games or on smartphones, but they still adore nature when they have the chance. Too many kids don’t have the freedom that we once had, when we could saunter off for hours on end to climb trees and the like, but when you go camping the kids get the chance to have a lot of fun in nature. My kids love nothing more than making rope swings, shooting up and down tress and finding all kinds of weird plants and insects in nature, and I’m sure your kids will too.

Nighttime

On a nighttime in a campsite everything goes nice and quite, the fires are lit and it is the perfect time for you to spend some quality time with the kids. Children remember those nights very well, where everyone gets wrapped up, toasts marshmallows on the fire and tells stories to each other or sings songs. Get creative with the campfire activities and kids will adore it.

Activities and Adventure

At home it is so easy for your child to sit in front of a television screen four hours on end, but none of that exists when you go camping. There is however still a great deal fo fun to be had when you go camping and the adventures and activities available are perfect for just about any child. When we go camping we like to go on long bike rides, do fun things like archery or sailing, head out kayaking on the water or, their particular favorite, go caving and discover what lies beneath the earth’s surface. Whatever kind of outdoors adventure you are looking for, you will almost always be able to find it right next to a  campsite, perfect for the whole family.

My kids are camping and as I have already said, they usually love it more than the expensive foreign vacations which we go on. Why not try it with your children in the coming year?

Here is where we stayed in Cornwall, perhaps it may suit you and your family too.

Perran Springs Holiday Park

Goonhavern

Truro

Cornwall

TR4 9QG

Building a Brand for Your Business

When you’re building a business you can’t just think about the nuts and bolts of what you’re doing: the logistics of delivering the goods or services that are you specialism are important of course, they’re absolutely vital. But people need to discover your business, and they need some way to make a choice about whether it’s the best one for them. People make their choices based on their emotional reactions just as much as the bare facts: your customers perception of the value of your product is just as important as the factual price point.

What you need to do is learn how to create a brand that the customers you’re targeting will be drawn to: one that’s attractive to their sensibilities, that will call out to them from even a cursory contact like seeing a single poster or catching the end of a broadcast ad.

But what is a brand? Counter-intuitively, there’s more to it than simply branding. Branding is design, it’s how you put a stamp on things that say ‘this is mine’ and it’s a big part of your overall brand. Your brand though is a bigger construct: it’s made up out of every way your customers can interact with your business. That includes explicit advertising, of course, but also the design of your products, the furnishings in your branches or offices (if you operate a bricks and mortar business) and the design of your website.

You need a lot of skills and data to build a brand that will see your business safely thriving in the long term. It makes sense to work with market research agencies and marketing companies to gather your data and turn that into the actions that build a brand: from placing carefully created adverts with precisely the hosts that your customers will browse and be attracted to, to schooling your customer service staff in the image they need to project. Are you a generous company when things go wrong? Are you austerely professional? Are you the sort of company people read about in Mail on Sunday colour supplements or do you appear in their Facebook feed?

All these choices build your brand, with even the smallest decision factoring into what customers feel about you. Ideally you want the maximum number of people to think yours is the business for them, but what helps you build a brand people can understand is specificity. Choose an identity for your company and work out simple things you can do to project that image as widely as possible.

Exploring Scandinavia

When thinking about visiting Scandinavia, there is always that idea of pure and clean air, mountains, rivers and forests. There is naturally all of this in Scandinavia, as well as some other incredible places visit in between too, like cities, amazing nature and a culture that complements it all so well. I love going on tours to Norway, Sweden and Denmark and wanted to write this article to talk a little bit more about what you can do by exploring this great region of the world
Explore the nature of Norway
A tour to Norway is one of my favourite things to do, especially because there is just so much to do. The nature of Norway is one of the things that stuns me and it really has to be seen to be believed. If you have ever just driven in Norway, you will understand exactly what I mean. You experience mountains, fjords, rivers, lakes, the sea and beautiful green forests. The air is clear and the people blue-eyed and blonde, as is quite common in Scandinavia.
There are some incredible destinations in Norway and one of my personal favourites has to be Preikestolen. This huge rock rises to over 600 metres above sea level and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can see mountains, fjords and the rocky landscape below. It is incredible to sit on the edge of the rock itself, which is a sheer cliff face. Drop a stone and it seems like it takes an eternity for it to reach the bottom. It truly is an exhilarating experience to stand right on the edge, but it is probably a better idea to lie on your stomach to be safe.
There are quite literally hundreds of other locations that you can visit that are just like this. Another extremely exciting destination is Trolltunga, which literally means troll’s tongue. It is a rock that extends past a high cliff face that you need to hike for 10 hours to get to. It is quite possibly the best view that you are likely to see. Other great places can be found anywhere and sometimes in the places you would least expect, so don’t be afraid to get off the beaten track to find something new and exciting.
Explore the cities of Sweden
Sweden is another great place in Scandinavia to visit and I find the cities absolutely incredible there. In particular, I love Stockholm and Gothenburg, which have a great mix of culture and a beautiful setting that is absolutely unique. Stockholm has to be one of my favourite cities on earth, especially with its many bridges and islands, as well as incredibly old and beautiful buildings. You absolutely need to enjoy a boat ride through all the islands of the city, which is very interesting and full of history. The old city or “Gamla Stan” as it is known, is also an extremely pretty place with very old buildings and cobbled streets. Here you can easily access the main attractions of the city, like the Vasa Museum, Skansen or the Stockholm Palace, where you should definitely watch the changing of the guard. This is an unusual and interesting experience that I would recommend to anyone.
It also has a very healthy dose of nature too, which I love. There really is nothing quite like heading out and exploring the thousands of small islands that lie on the Stockholm archipelago. This is an amazing place to visit in the summertime as many of the people from the city rent or visit their summer houses here.
Visit Copenhagen
Copenhagen is one of the most pretty and liveable cities on the entire planet and it is an absolute pleasure to visit. It is absolutely beautiful with colourful houses, green parks and canals. The Danes also have a great cafe and food culture, with many great restaurants, bars and cafes. Hiring a bike is a must and in my opinion, it is the best city going for bike riding. Bikes are a way of life in Denmark and there are not so many cars in the city centre itself. The bike paths are well planned and everywhere, and the city is small enough that you can reach anywhere on your bike within a few minutes. It is also great to ride along the canals and enjoy the views.
If you are looking for something a bit different, you can visit Freetown Christiania, which is a hippy commune which has claimed itself to be autonomous. Here you can see interesting colourful buildings and live like a hippy for the day.
There is only one negative that I can see about Copenhagen and that is the fact that it rains quite a lot, but don’t worry, the upside is that it is one of the most stylish cities in the world and you are sure to find an incredibly stylish raincoat there that you won’t find anywhere else.

Exciting things to try in 2018

New Year’s resolutions are not easy to stick to for an entire year. The problem lies with the fact that people typically have more than one resolution. And a resolution often comes with a commitment to try and reinvent or overhaul themselves into being a brand new person. This makes the goals difficult to achieve because no matter how great our intentions, the amount of focus and determination we can put on our attributes dwindles as times goes on.

 

That’s why I like to do simple resolutions that are fun, attainable and push my limits of comfort. Each and every year I make a small list of things I could do that would scare me but also thrill me and allow me to see the world in a different perspective.  They are just small things that I can tick off my life list of “I’ve done that”. So I thought I’d share my list with you this year.

Go to an amusement park.

 

I’ve long been scared of amusement park rides and roller coasters. But millions of people head to theme parks like Walt Disney World every month, and they love it! So this is the year to stop being afraid of what so many individuals and families love to do all over the country. There are a lot of parks spread across the world but I have my eye on Universal Orlando Resort.

 

Perform Stand-Up

 

Did you know more people are scared of speaking in front of a crowd then they are of dying? I am part of this category and want to change it. Public speaking is a great skill to have at home, in the workplace and to grow as an individual and leader. Standing up in front of a crowd in a setting that’s meant to be humorous is a great setting for a first timer. The jokes can be rehearsed and the delivery is staged. It’s probably the easiest way to talk in front of a group.

 

Join a class

Learning a new skill, sport or language is great, it’s even better with a group. Taking a new class is something I do every year. The team setting creates the feeling of accountability to keep attending and learning. There is also great social benefits to joining, as some of my closest friends have come from a knitting class I took years ago. It’s the perfect way to grow and expand a social circle.

 

Baltic Cruises Are Top Of The List In 2018

Going on a cruise has always been a favourite way for me to take a break and relax. Usually I enjoy travelling around the world with a backpack over my shoulder, staying in remote places and traveling quite uncomfortably. All of those things make cruises even more special and luxurious.

I recently went on a Baltic cruise holiday for the first time, it certainly will not be my last!The Baltic region is fast becoming a hot spot for cruising, that’s due to its superb culture, stunning architecture and rich history. I enjoyed every minute of my time at this fantastic destination. There’s so much to love about a Baltic cruise it’s difficult to fit into just one article, but here’s what I loved most and why I think you should all try it in 2018.

Top Class Food

Very quietly ‘New Nordic Cuisine’ has been having a big impact on the culinary scene, it has put Scandinavia well and truly on the map as a great destination for food lovers. One of the of the main restaurants responsible for this is Noma. If you stop off in Copenhagen then head straight for this Michelin starred restaurant. It can be tricky to get a table so plan ahead.

Full-On Itineraries

The greatest advantage for going on a Baltic cruise is the fact you get to visit so many cities in such short time. Many of the ports are quite close to one another making it easy to pack in as much as possible on your cruise. You can expect to visit at least four or five cities on your cruise, most include Copenhagen and Helsinki, plus lots more.

Hop Aboard In The UK

For me this is a huge plus because I come back to the UK each year for a couple of months. This means I can visit my family and once I am finished hop onboard a cruise ship bound for the Baltic region. I usually pick a boat up from Dover, but there are options of Portsmouth and Southampton too. If you feel like making the cruise even more memorable then you have the chance to catch the boat from Tower Bridge in London – remember that these are super popular, so make sure you book way in advance so you’re not disappointed.