EDINBURGH-based Jump Marketing, one of Scotland’s most successful creative communications agencies, believes they have come up with a cost-effective solution for Scottish SME’s, start-ups and microbusinesses facing the potentially ‘bank breaking expense’ of trading online.
Jump has launched a new company this week, called Vitamin, with the aim of bringing high-end, custom-designed websites and online shops within reach of smaller businesses with limited budgets.
Vitamin claims it has found a way to build websites for up to 70 per cent less than comparable solutions, according to Vitamin’s managing director and co-founder, Mat Norbury.
He said: “Our aim is simple: to reduce the cost for SME’s looking to trade online or improve their online presence.
“Vitamin bridges the gap in the market between the £1-a-month services of this world and the bespoke solutions provided by agencies charging possibly tens of thousands.
“Vitamin sits in the middle with a cost-conscious solution that does not compromise on quality of design, functionality or ongoing support.
“This is something we believe no-one else is doing.”
Vitamin has achieved this by radically reducing the ‘development’ stage – the time it takes to build a website or online shop.
Adds a spokesperson: “Development time typically counts for between 70-80 per cent of the final cost of a website and can involve weeks of work.
“By introducing a streamlined approach to both the design and build of websites, including the development of a set of flexible building blocks which can be quickly customised and adapted to meet the demands of unique sites, the company has found a way to build top of the range websites in days rather than weeks.
“In monetary terms, Vitamin is building websites and on-line shops at around 30 per cent of the cost of a comparable custom solution.
“A site which might typically cost £8-10,000 can now be built for just £2,000-3,000, without any compromises in design or functionality.”
Mat continues: “We developed Vitamin for two reasons.
“Firstly, we believe that many larger SME businesses may have over-spent on their digital assets.
“However, those smaller businesses who cannot afford a top-of-the-range website tend to either operate without one or invest in a cheaper alternative which often fails to deliver the quality of design or functionality they need.
“This can be massively detrimental to a business and not having an online shop means many small businesses are missing out on lucrative online retail opportunities.
“The problem facing SME’s today is there isn’t much in the middle. Between the entry-level and expensive agency solutions, it’s a massive gamble. To guarantee quality you have had to invest big, and this is out of reach of many smaller businesses.
“Our aim at Vitamin is to offer a premium solution at affordable prices.”
Research by Jump Marketing and business start-up advisors, www.startups.co.uk, suggests that small businesses and start-ups chose price over quality, spending on average only £2,000-£3,000 on a website, with up to a third paying less than £1,000.
The Federation of Small Businesses recently announced that one-in-four small UK businesses are operating with no website at all, and for those that do have one, only a third are using it for sales.
Gordon Henderson, senior development manager, Scotland, Federation of Small Businesses, comments: “An online presence is absolutely vital for all businesses both to trade with customers and to act as a shop window telling prospective customers what they have to offer.
“With the Scottish Government committed to providing 85 per cent of premises with faster broadband by the end of this year, and 95 per cent by the end of 2017, our use of the internet will only grow.
“However, one of the big challenges facing SME’s is the expense of setting up an all-encompassing online presence at a time when they are paying out for other marketing materials, premises, staff, insurance and loans.
“Websites and eCommerce shouldn’t need to be the huge expensive affairs that they can be.”
Vitamin has been almost 18 months in the making, during which time the company has completed a comprehensive six-month pilot phase to test and perfect their solution.
The company has been working closely with a range of start-ups and SMEs across Scotland, covering sectors as diverse as food and drink, training and recruitment, tourism and hospitality. These businesses include the Hebridean Food Company, Ramsay of Carluke, LEV Jobs, Scottish Routes and Gusto.
One of these pilot companies is an Edinburgh-based gift voucher business called ‘Love from India Street’.
Rebecca Christensen, managing director and owner of the business, comments: “I feel Vitamin’s approach is definitely a step in the right direction.
“They have delivered a website and online shop at a level of quality that would normally be out of our reach.
“I think there should be more developers designing sites especially for the SME’s.
“We make a big contribution to the economy, and yet there isn’t much in the market for businesses like ours.”
Vitamin are already investigating opportunities in overseas markets and the company plan to launch in both Australia and the USA in 2016.
Mobile: 07796 445 753
www.jumpmarketing.co.uk/vitamin or call Jump Marketing on 0131 558 5476.
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