eCommerce sales through social media

Did you know there are over 200 social media platforms?

Did you also know that a handful of these could actually drive REAL sales through to your online business. 

Since building our marketing division in house, after exponential growth over the last year, we have excelled in social media marketing. From running seminars in the early days of social 2007 – 2009 to developing our own social media marketing strategies internally ever since we have seen an incredible amount of business revenue from social media.

With these lessons learnt it was a no brainer to help our ecommerce clients profit from this knowledge. Strategizing and executing social media marketing for clients we have seen sales double and some more with some of the companies we work along side.

We find many companies use social media neither effectively nor efficiently, placing our reputation on the line – ecommerce clients have been queuing up to test our social media team. Such success from this we are actively growing our digital marketing team to accommodate client demand.

Facebook are forever restricting businesses policies and chances of making sales through traditional Facebook business pages with its algorithms limiting 5-10% of the audience to seeing your page content. Businesses all over the UK are wasting money hand over first by clicking that little BOOST button to pay for their content to gain more exposure – you couldn’t be doing anything further from the right thing!

We as a company beat targets without spending tons of money on ads like most business do! Facebook is really trying to make everyone spend on ads now and most still think that it is the only way to execute on Facebook.

A recent client invests a few hundred pounds in Google ads and Facebook ads and sees a tiny return, the same investment with our social media team drove a couple thousand pounds of directly attributed sales through their online store. 

The best thing is….the following months – it only got better.

Alzheimers — Ben Nevis Trek

So next weekend I’ll be lacing up my hiking boots (June 19) and trekking through the night up Ben Nevis in a bid to raise money for the Alzheimers society and it is planned that we shall reach the summit at sunrise the next day, I’ll be doing this with a group of other fundraisers from The Alzheimers Society.

As I used to sit on the executive board of a care home I have seen first hand what a debilitating disease that Alzheimers can be.

More research needs to be done into this disease, which effects over 850,000 people in the UK alone. The Alzheimers Society does some fantastic work, and more local businesses should pledge to support them- Especially as 42,000 sufferers being diagnosed, are still of working age.

The organisers originally set a fundraising target of £400, the sponsorships have rolled in despite little effort on my behalf with being so busy the last few months. So far I’ve raised £600 and would love to hit £1000 for the charity.

The support so far has been amazing, and I cannot thank the people who have already donated, enough. To have already surpassed my original target which is unbelievable.

To sponsor me, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/iboxsean

Bespoke software leads the way in promoting business growth

What’s holding your business back in 2015? Are you tracking your sales leads efficiently? Are you remembering when to contact that client who said six months ago to remind them in a few weeks time to get back in touch? Do you know at the touch of a button how much revenue you have derived from a particular client whilst flipping through email?

In business there is no shortage of necessary evils we all have to take care of no matter our position in the company. Be it a sales rep or small business owner who needs to keep track of new leads, potential clients, deals that are in development or just who said what about a particular project that is being discussed – this problem is typically solved by CRM systems. However, the problem here begins when your business doesn’t fit into one of the cookie cut CRM systems out there on the market and you require something a little more suited to your exact business.

Perhaps your company maintains mission critical data on your clients finances, stock management or resources – the Excel spreadsheets don’t cut it anymore in today’s digital work. With all aspects of software moving to the cloud – the ways in which your business can benefit from such a change is endless there are a number of cloud providers that offer productivity suites from the likes of Salesforce for CRM or Microsoft 365 that allows your to get not only email but also project management and CRM aspects in the cloud. But what about your business, that may not fit into the ‘general’ CRM mould or perhaps you need some integration with your accounting package – this is where bespoke software comes in and really can help improve the productivity of your staff and business as a whole. 

With the economy bouncing back from recent years, companies are beginning to fight back with growth and looking to increase sales and profitability. The systems your organisation uses every day really does power how effectively your team works together – understanding how your staff is performing with resource management, inventory tracking or customer relationship management systems that is all available from your iPhone/iPad anywhere in the world aids companies to achieve massive growth, and this is where a good software development agency can help sit down with your organisation, identify the pain points, areas of improvement and explain the benefits a system could improve your business efficiency. 

Functional bespoke software doesn’t need to go down the route of typical IT projects the likes of the NHS has seen which cost millions and over run by five years that said the benefits of such software could end up saving your business thousands, even millions and weeks or months of lost productivity. A recent bespoke CRM client we worked with commented that last quarter their CRM system helped them keep on top of deals they weren’t giving enough attention to, keep in contact with customers and maintain proactive relationships that generated further business with customers that otherwise may have slipped through the cracks.

Derby Telegraph — My view

Code Club teaches children aged 9 to 11 how to code computers. There is a waiting list of youngsters wanting to join but more volunteers are needed to pass on their programming skills.

IN every industry, it is vital businesses pass their knowledge on to the next generation.

Failure to do so could result in that industry failing.

That is why I’m surprised at the severe lack of volunteers coming forward to support a project I’m involved in.

The project is called Code Club. It is a voluntary initiative aimed at teaching children aged 9 to 11 how to code computers.

It involves volunteer programmers and software developers giving their time to run courses, passing on their programming skills and mentoring the young pupils.

It has enabled children to create their own computer games and robots and learn how to use technology creatively.

As someone who is fuelled by a passion for getting kids off the streets and equipping them with the invaluable skills needed for a career in IT, I decided to set up free Saturday morning sessions for children at Derby Central Library.

The classes have proven to be so successful that there is now a waiting list to attend.

The hour-long free sessions take place between 10.30am and 11.30am and teach children fundamental programming elements.

Each week, the pupils are set the task of creating a game, animation, or puzzle, that is then built using a piece of software known as Scratch.

Indeed, when I first heard about Code Club, I instantly wanted to be involved.

My father taught me how to programme when I was just five years old, and I now run a very successful ecommerce and software development business in Derby.

Without that early tuition, I may not be where I am today.

Computer programming skills are becoming more and more prevalent in the industry and I believe that it is vital to pass this knowledge on.

At the ages of 9 to 11, children are impressionable and it is important to get them doing something productive.

All this is why I’m surprised that there is a severe lack of volunteers coming forward to support this initiative. Volunteers are only required to give up one hour a week and it is an extremely rewarding experience.

At iBox Security, we firmly believe in giving something back to the community, and that is why I have also just signed up to mentor a GCSE student for a year.

It’s time that other businesses did the same.

The road to recovery and triathlons

Last year was a difficult year as my own health caused some concerns and although not life threatening, it was a case of having to take several weeks off of work particularly off the road of which I tend to do 1,000+ miles a week visiting customers all around the UK.

Not only time off work but time off from physical exercise in my case running, second only to my love for business. Due to health issues in 2014 and the need for multiple operations this caused such a set back in my physical fitness, that I had to cancel the triathlon I had intended on competing in.

Roll on to February 3rd 2015 – at the Derby University Kedleston campus, one of Derbys best small businesses HUUB Design made a great unveiling that July 12th the Jenson Button Triathlon will be coming to Derby. Couple that with having the all clear a week previous from the Drs this means a triathlon could once again be on the agenda for this year!

Now as many already know I’ve already signed up to trek up Ben Nevis on the 19th June. This biggest mountain in the British Isles – a suggest goal of £400 was set by the Alzheimers Society of which with little convincing and so far not having blasted the link out to folk – that goal has been passed and the next goal being £1,000 is well under way.

So the madness continues, after hearing the inspirational speech from HUUB MD Dean Jackson I immediately signed up to compete. This time in aid of Cancer Research (just giving page to come soon!), both causes having been a part of not only my life but many around me.

So this starts a very difficult road back to fitness, what would once be an easy run through the countryside, now is a tough challenge to hit a mile or so. Having gone through operations and 9 months of no exercise its starting a fresh but with two very ambitious goals to hit in the next few months.

Its often said that business is comparable to that of a marathon, well in this case with our business focusing on three core areas: softwareecommerce and security its easy to make comparisons to a triathlon – finding your strongest point, applying those techniques and training to other aspects of business.

Computer security is in our DNA, it forms a part of everything we build, web and software to most efficient, profitable, secure and productive to the client.

Any one else competing in this triathlon I’d love to hear from you!

Moonpig Security – SMEs take note

Its been talked about to no end in the last week – Moonpig security vulnerabilities, its breach of potentially millions of customers data. Its API flaws that really could cost the company its business and not only is this a cause for concern for the millions of customers of moonpig but it should be a warning sign for SMEs who use web services, web applications and even more so – those who have businesses that run off web services and applications that may have been built by internal/external development teams.

It would be unfair to expect your average developer or software development agency to understand the security industry and how these aspects affect software builds, business processes and data security. 

As a computer security consultancy with a software development team, we work along side SMEs and PLCs in the UK including DNA testing, Cancer research, SaaS organisations and so on to identify, protect their networks, applications and to develop more secure systems and business processes. 

Over the festive period we were able to identify a number of small/medium sized local businesses and some with multi million pound turnover with vulnerable systems, APIs and business applications created by small development agencies with no security knowledge that could lead to a similar style breach to that of Moonpigs recent event.

With our software development and ecommerce projects – we can utilise this knowledge to our advantage, something that is truly unique in our industry to be able to apply these measures to every piece of software we build. Be it a CRM, CMS, invoicing, resource tracking, inventory management or ecommerce platform.

Since the moonpig iPhone application / API vulnerability issue has surfaced already we have been asked to review applications in our region, of which we have already identified one with similar problems to that of Moonpig. So if nothing else – if you have a business application, mobile, web or desktop – ask your developers to take a look or contact a computer security expert to review the application.