Welcome to the January/February 2021 edition of the Skyzack newsletter. Here you’ll find the team’s latest adventures and projects, as well as updates from our clients and friends.
Good Riddance 2020:
Well, we won’t miss that year! We won’t dwell on it too much as we’re sure you’re with us on wanting to move forward, but we sincerely hope everyone is doing as well as possible as we continue in these so-called “unprecedented times”. This in mind, as we enter a brand-new year, Skyzack is armed with new techniques, knowledge and ideas to help small, local and new businesses to get the most out of 2021.
As our services are ever-expanding, so is the Skyzack team. This month, we’ve taken on a brand-new team member to bring his expertise to our (virtual, of course) table.
Max comes from a technical and creative background; specialising in lead generation and social media marketing. As our Digital Campaign Manager, Max will be working on both in-house and client campaigns to help small businesses maximise their potential online. He’s also working on an exciting new venture for Skyzack that we can’t wait to share with you. Watch this space!
Going Digital (during a pandemic):
With the current challenges, and even when things are more ‘normal’, your businesses online presence is vital. Both existing and potential customers need to be able to connect with your business, and this most likely starts with a Google search. Therefore, it’s important to have an up-to-date website that represents your brand accurately and includes search engine optimisation (SEO). Essentially, think of your website as your 24/7 shop window.
Social media is another crucial but simple way to reach people digitally and reinforce your brand. You may be offering new services or products, sharing updates or simply keeping in touch with customers and other businesses with messages of positivity.
Skyzack in Bollington:
To help us support as many local businesses as possible, Skyzack now has a virtual hub based in Bollington. Jim knows the beautiful village well, and we’re excited to branch out into other areas of Cheshire and beyond. Whether you have an existing business or a start-up, wherever you’re based, we’d love to hear from you.
Along with our virtual hub, we’ve created a Bollington pocket guide. Although we can’t do much exploring right now, our illustrated guide includes some great small businesses that we can all support and keep up-to-date with online. If you follow our socials, you may have seen some of Tuesday’s digital illustrations already. Keep an eye out for the final product coming soon!
For taking the time to read this blog. If you’d like to receive the Skyzack newsletter via email, or for anything else, please feel free to email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
The Skyzack Team
We all know that COVID-19 has been incredibly hard for small businesses, and we can’t sympathise enough. As we enter a second lockdown so close to Christmas, highstreet closures and restrictions bring on new concerns. But it’s not all bad news! This year we’ve seen the incredible resourcefulness and creativity of Macclesfield small businesses as they adapt to a new way of life.
With more people at home, online shopping has increased hugely and many businesses began (or increased) selling online so we don’t have to miss out on our favourite things. This in mind, we’d like to share some of the local businesses that we can all support online, and how they’ve adapted.
Monocle Deli: Social Media
Local cafe Monocle Deli is a great example of how simple online selling can be. Earlier this year, they began selling Treat Boxes for delivery or collection through social media. The boxes are perfect for sending to loved ones or treating yourself and can be made vegan too. We’re not sure what Monocle Deli’s plans are for this lockdown, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for updates and can’t wait to see their festive bakes.
So many great local cafes have also been selling through social media, including Cherry Blossom Bakery with their afternoon teas! Be sure to check on your favourites on Facebook & Instagram, along with food delivery apps like Just Eat, Deliveroo & Uber Eats.
Red Willow Brewery: Website
We miss the days when we could call into a local bar with our friends. Luckily, Red Willow Brewery has made it a little bit easier. They launched their online shop back in March, and are now delivering nationwide! Whether you’re sending a few cans to a friend for the weekend or getting a small keg for your Christmas at home, they’ve got you covered.
Treacle Market Sellers: Etsy
Something else we’ve all been missing this year is the Treacle Market. Our towns monthly stalls are a great chance to buy from Macclesfield small businesses and many others. Whilst it can’t go ahead, there have been virtual Treacle Markets on Facebook, where makers share products to buy directly or links to their online stores, including Etsy.
Etsy is an e-commerce website for independent makers, creatives and other small businesses. You can find lots of your favourite sellers from the Treacle Market on there, and discover many new ones. It’s so important to support small businesses this Christmas, and we highly recommend checking out Etsy for your online gift shopping. You’ll find so many lovely unique and handmade gifts, like Dick Vincents 2021 calendar!
Other locally-based Etsy shops we love are Marc Makes Comics for fun comics, badges & mugs, Adam Francis Art for Macclesfield and Cheshire illustrations, and Sandbach based Posner & Posner for beautiful handprinted textiles.
Skyzack can help:
There are so many other amazing Macclesfield small businesses you can support online, this is a very small handful! Please let us know of any we’ve missed so we can support them too.
If you’re a small business owner and need any help or advice on online selling (or anything else) please feel free to get in touch for a chat. You can reach us through our contact form or call us on 01625 574111.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and for supporting small businesses in any way you can. We’re wishing you all the very best during this difficult time. Stay safe & take care – the Skyzack team.
Skyzack’s parent company, A J Tyzack & Co is just one of the small businesses that has adapted a lot this year. Often travelling and meeting in-person pre-pandemic, they quickly had to operate online and overcome any connected challenges. The Skyzack team understands the importance of your business being online, pandemic or not, but also know the value of meeting face-to-face. As new guidelines and restrictions are announced, many SMEs are left wondering what to do next. How can we plan ahead in such unpredictable times? Below, Jim (AJ Tyzack & Co.’s owner) shares his thoughts with us as we consider the future of business during COVID-19.
A J Tyzack: Guest Blog
As we reach the last few months of 2020, we’re all having to re-evaluate our approach to business. In line with current COVID-19 safety guidance: the future will likely hold a combination of virtual and in-person meetings/events. As this year has shown us, modern-day technology can make communication notably easier, and most importantly during the pandemic, safer. However, the virtual world also has its limitations. Therefore, an amount of (socially distanced) in-person meetings may be necessary for your company.
Virtual vs In-Person: Pros & Cons
The above is based on our own research, experience and opinions and is not meant as an exhaustive or official document. All decisions regarding in-person meetings should be made in line with current government guidance. We hope this list can help you to make the best decisions for your organisation, health and others.
Skyzack can help!
These decisions aren’t easy to make, but our Business Support services are here to help your business during COVID-19 (and beyond). To find out more please feel free to get in touch via our contact page or call us on 01625 574111.
The way we interact with businesses has changed dramatically this year, especially with SMEs. The Skyzack team has been shopping online instead of in stores, ordering takeaways instead of dining out, checking online for COVID safety updates and more. If you own a small, local business, it’s likely you’ve had to increase your online presence. You may have used the internet to offer new services, keep in touch with customers and clients, or even to start from scratch. We recently talked about how important business online presence is in 2020, and in this blog, we’ll be looking at the value of online reviews. (You can give our previous blog a read here first!)
Here at Skyzack, we know that the customer experience often begins online. One of the first things people will do is ‘Google’ your business to find reviews (along with websites, social media and other info). For many, social proof makes a huge difference in purchasing habits and therefore no reviews can be as off-putting as bad ones, if not worse. They can also improve your brand’s identity and credibility, as people trust in other’s experiences. Essentially, they are the modern-day ‘word-of-mouth’, and in a world of social distancing, more important than ever.
Reach & SEO:
Reviews can also improve your online visibility and SEO, meaning that your business can reach a wider audience. Online algorithms value fresh content, and frequent customer reviews are a simple yet effective tool for this. They also demonstrate authenticity, expertise and customer trust to search engines which can make your business rank higher in organic and local search results.
Happy customers are also likely to engage on multiple platforms, from TripAdvisor to Instagram, meaning that the conversation about your brand spreads even further!
Dealing with ‘bad’ reviews:
Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world, but it depends on how you react to them. Online reviews are a great way of getting honest, direct feedback and it’s important to take all opinions and experiences into account. In fact, the occasional 3-star review can actually help to build trust, as it makes your business appear more genuine.
- Don’t ignore it! Responding as quickly as possible to any review shows professionalism, consistency and care.
- Write like a person, but keep it professional. Avoid generic, ‘copy and paste’ replies and write how you would speak with them in person.
- Focus on/start with the positives! Thank them for visiting your business, writing a review etc. before addressing any problems.
- Admit your mistakes but correct inaccuracies (politely!).
- Contact the person privately if possible/necessary e.g. a phone call or private message to resolve any issues.
- Encourage more positive reviews! The good should outweigh the bad.
How to get more reviews:
- Promote on social media by sharing positive feedback, photos etc. and share the link to your preferred review platform.
- Ask customers and clients directly using feedback postcards or, where relevant, follow-up email marketing.
- Be active! Interacting with your reviews can encourage others to leave them, as it reassures people that their opinions are valued and won’t be ignored.
We can help!
Our dedicated team at Skyzack can take the time and effort out of managing online reviews. If you’d like help or advice with yours, please feel free to get in touch through our contact form or call us on 01625 574111.
Welcome to the September 2020 edition of the Skyzack newsletter. Here you’ll find the Skyzack team’s latest adventures and projects, as well as updates from our clients and friends.
Skyzack Spotlight: I Am Print
We’re shining this month’s Skyzack spotlight on a small business who recently helped us with our hub’s signage. I Am Print is a digital print company based in Macclesfield’s neighbouring town, Bollington. With over 30 years’ experience, their friendly team produce high-quality prints whilst accommodating to your business needs and budget.
Along with our COVID safety signs, Skyzack has relied on I Am Print for many other print services. Over the years, they have produced great products for both ourselves and our clients. From business cards and leaflets to banners and our illustrated Macclesfield coasters: we can always turn to them for fantastic work from a dedicated, local company.
Macclesfield Pocket Guide:
Now that businesses are starting to reopen, we’ve finally been able to release our Macclesfield Pocket Guide for 2020! Keep an eye out in local eateries, shops and more for a handy illustrated map of our town. You can also get in touch with us directly to learn more about the pocket guide or our illustration services.
This year, it’s become even more crucial for businesses to have a strong online presence. Whether with selling on e-commerce websites, marketing and networking through social media, or anything else, Skyzack is here to help. We’ve been working extra hard to support all of our clients throughout this uncertain time, whilst adapting to the ‘new normal’.
This in mind, we’ve made a few small changes within our team whilst refining and expanding our services. Our latest addition, Jo, takes full control of social media management whilst our Creative Lead, Tuesday, continues to create content. Below are our most up-to-date contact details, so that you can get in touch with who you need directly.
General: Jim – 01625 574111
Technical: Fortuna – 07513485484
Creative: Tuesday – 07590884674
Social Media: Jo – 07999161887
Thank you for reading the September 2020 Skyzack Newsletter. Stay in touch or ask us anything using our contact page, email [email protected] or feel free to give us a call. You can also find us on LinkedIn, or on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @weareskyzack!