What’s your budget?

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Every year businesses set out their budgets for the financial year. Whilst a lot of areas are covered an important part is the Marketing budget which a lot of people forget about. Even when your first setting up as a business start-up you should budget for your marketing, this can include a wide variety of things like Advertising (radio, print or online), business cards, leaflets, networking groups and YOUR website if you don’t have one. If you do have a website, have you put money aside to have it updated or changed over the coming year?

The point of a budget is?

Forecasting your spend for the coming year is important. It allows you to know what you’re spending on which area of your business and you can account for everything going out. By tracking the amount of money you’re spending on your marketing and when you do it, you can then see what kind of Return on Investment (ROI) you are getting for it.

90% of the time businesses have a website. Most people see the advantages of having a website even if it is a simple brochure site.

Sarah Parmenter can’t build a website for £500

Sarah Parmenter posted on her personal blog about why she couldn’t build a website for £500. In a nutshell Sarah had received an enquiry from a potential client who wanted a large dynamic website building. They had filled in Sarah’s website worksheet form with some in depth detail of what they were looking for, brand awareness, structure and colour palettes usually something us designers never see as most clients need guiding rather than them knowing what they want. Everything seemed fine to Sarah until she hit the “budget” part of the worksheet where her potential client had budgeted a lowly £500 for the work they were requiring.  Sarah did a fantastic job of handling this by not only replying where most would bin the emails, she also educated her potential client on what £500 would get them and why £500 was such a low estimation from them on what they could get.

Shortly after she blogged about the issue she updated everyone with the news that the client had indeed acknowledged what Sarah said and that they were able to increase their budget.

Whilst at first I thought Sarah’s post was going to be a rant, it turned out to be a valuable piece of information for anyone in the same position. The problem with potential clients or even current clients at times is something I see quite often. Design in my opinion is somewhat undervalued by most professions even though the most wealthy people in the world rely on designers and developers day in day out to enhance their brand or increase their sales.

How much does design cost?

It depends on who you want to work with and how long they think it will take to put the best piece of design out there for you. You have to remind yourself that a good designer is not going to do something below-par just because he’s getting paid for it. We’re a strange breed where being pedantic is something in our blood and we know if something doesn’t sit right. It maybe more beneficial for a client to book a whole day or longer with a designer rather than pay an hourly rate but this is something to talk over with your designer.

When it comes to web design, think of the size of the application you’re wanting to build. Ask advice before hand with regards to budget from someone who has been there and done it. Organisations like Business Link can guide you. And remember one thing, “Pay Peanuts and get Monkeys.”

What is your budget?

I’d love to see more realistic budgets being given to designers/developers, agencies and freelancers. A designer doesn’t ask for a new kitchen and then say they’ve budgeted £500 when the total cost is around £4500. A designer doesn’t ask for a new £10k car and then tell the salesmen they have £750 to spend. We’d get laughed out of the park.

Think about your budgets, think about what you want to achieve and don’t be surprised over cost. It takes time to build a website just like it takes time to build a car or fit a kitchen.

Thoughts anyone?

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Web Apps and Ecommerce, a busy time…

We’re on the web app wagon

It’s been a couple of months in the making and a considerable amount of planning but we’re going to be creating a couple of web apps in house at carrotmedia. We’ve been thinking about a varied amount of apps which we could develop which are unique and provide a service which is needed. We believe we’ve ear marked two potential apps which could do just that. At the start of our web app idea journey we were finding it extremely difficult to pick out ideas which hadn’t been done already and ones which other people would find useful.

muddledup

They’re currently in alpha development, one will be entering beta testing in the next couple of weeks and the other named muddledup is currently requiring sign-ups so we can let you all know when we’re entering the next stage.

The two apps are directed towards businesses or individuals within our own line of work so they fit well with the design/development agencies and freelancers. If you want to enquire about beta testing the apps get in touch directly if you wish and I’ll hook you up.

I’ll be talking more about the apps as they get closer to the testing phases.

Pulling the ecommerce train – the long haul

Adii Rockstar recently wrote a new blog posts called “Ecommerce: 4 reasons why it’s failing”, and I thought it was about time to let a few people know what we’re doing over at carrotmedia. We work with awesome clients every day on their ecommerce sites and wanted to see if we could do it ourselves. More as a learning curve than anything, to see how and in what ways we can change things to bring more sales and then passing these benefits onto our clients.

We?re going to be blogging the whole thing from scratch and producing updates of progress/sales/traffic etc. Hopefully with setting up our own ecommerce store we can lead from example and help everyone else out by blogging about it.

Fast and Furious Review (2009)

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It’s 2009 and Fast and Furious is back. The cars, the music, the racing is all back including Dom Toretto. This Fast and Furious could well be called an interquel as it’s set 5 years after the first movie but before the Tokyo Drift movie. Apparently Vin Diesel wanted to make a proper movie and the best time to set it was after the first movie instead of faffing around with the story lines from the latter two movies.

The movie starts how it means to go on with a high octane snatch and grab of fuel. Dom and Letty are still together with a new group containing some new characters and Brian isn’t far behind. After the snatch and grab Dom realises he needs to cut away before the whole team are taken down by the cops and leaves Letty with the gang.

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Dom and Brian end up crossing paths in LA and briefly fight each other before realising they are about to fight a common enemy. During the explosive plot the duo are together till the end with plenty of woah and holy crap high speed moments. I had heard there was a lack of cars in the film however I believe there were just enough to keep the story on track and the film entertaining unlike some of the previous films where they dragged.

An all round good movie if you’re into the Fast and Furious series.

If you’d like to see the trailer before buying your tickets, head over to Moovees (one of my sites where I collate film trailers).

The Fast & Furious OST is pretty good and the tracks are featured below;

  1. Rye Rye – Bang (feat. M.I.A.)
  2. Busta Rhymes – G-Stro
  3. Kenna – Loose Wires
  4. Pitbull – Blanco (feat. Pharrell)
  5. Pitbull – Krazy (feat. Lil Jon)
  6. Pitbull – You Slip, She Grip (feat. Tego Calderon)
  7. Shark City Click – Head Bust
  8. Pitbull – Bad Girls (feat. Robin Thicke)
  9. Don Omar – Virtual Diva
  10. Tasha – La Isla Bonita
  11. Pitbull – Blanco (feat. Pharrell)