Our Client Focus allows us to feature some of our clients in more detail and allows them to showcase themselves to our other clients and contacts.This week, we caught up with Tom from Evolve Websites.
Describe your business
Evolve provides businesses with stunning websites that deliver quality leads. All sites are created from scratch and lovingly hand-built, meaning the end result is a website that both the client and their customers love and that works like a dream. We work with small to medium sized companies, mainly in the Southampton, Winchester and Andover areas ranging from £250k to £5m+ turnover.
What makes you different?
We believe the way most websites are quoted and charged is flawed. A company should be able to make changes to their website, or to have updates made for them, without having to pay every time. Evolve’s innovative pricing model means that company’s no longer need to shell out a large chunk of money to have a website designed and built, then pay again every time they want it updated. Evolve clients simply pay nothing upfront and a fixed monthly fee that includes unlimited updates. That means that whatever they want to do, they simply give us a call and we take care of it for them without any extra charges.
How long have you been trading?
We started Custom Studio (our design agency) in 2007 and launched Evolve at the beginning of 2012 (wow, time really flies).
What’s going on?
Our time is split into two parts. The first part is planning, designing and building sites for new clients. We’re currently working on some great new sites for GEP Environmental (based in Southampton) and Martial Art World (based in Andover). The second part is making updates and improvements to our current client’s websites. We’re currently working on exciting updates to websites for IDAC Solutions (based in Chandlers Ford), Brendoncare and Penyards (both based in Winchester).
What challenges have you faced recently and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges we had in the day to day running of the business (and I promise Sean isn’t paying me to say this) was the bookkeeping and accounts. Bookkeeping and accounts used to be something that was done after the event and was of little or no use to help me in running the business. It was also chaotic and time consuming. By moving to use xero and bringing on board our brilliant bookkeeper Fran and working closely with Sean on a weekly basis, the books and accounts are now an up to date tool that actually help us to run the business.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
One of the things that gives me the most satisfaction is seeing the websites we create generate quality leads and enquiries for our clients. I get notified every time a potential customer submits an enquiry through one of our client’s websites and it gives me such a buzz to see the websites generating quality leads that turn into paying customers for our clients.
We’re getting more and more involved in content creation and publishing for our clients. Not only is it important to have a great website, but that website needs to have quality content published on a regular basis. It’s a real challenge for companies to find the time to create and publish quality content, by helping our clients with this we can increase their search engine rankings and customer engagement. We’re also taking this a step further for some of our clients and helping them to create bespoke landing pages and lead magnets to drive even more enquiries. Lead magnets are highly focussed giveaways that prospects can download in return for their details. Combining quality content with focussed lead magnets is a strategy that’s already working well and that will only become more effective over the next few years.
What’s the best advice you could give other business owners?
The customer holds all the secrets! I’m not saying you can simply ask your customers what they need and then provide that (although there are worse strategies), after all, Steve Jobs famously said that if he’d have asked his customers if they wanted an iPod before he launched it they would have said no. What I’m saying is that your customers are the ones that have the problems they need solving and the money to spend. Talk to your customers (or potential customers), ask open questions and listen intently and I guarantee you’ll get some real insights.
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