At last some good news…

Covid has been difficult for many businesses. in fact it has probably been the hardest trading year in living memory with many businesses hardly surviving and many others, unfortunately, going to the wall.

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Recent new reports regarding the economy have been encouraging with the Office of National Statistics reporting that the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by a record 15.5% during Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020, as lockdown measures were eased.

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This was mostly due to the services, production and construction sectors increasing by record amounts. In September alone, the services sector grew by 1.0%, production by 0.5% and construction by 2.9%.

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But what does this mean in real terms for the average small to medium sized business? How do these figures relate to what is happening on the ground?

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The good news is that consumer confidence has increased as people with disposable incomes seek to find ways to dispose of it. This is reflected in the massive rise of search requests we have seen at Local Pages during a similar time frame.

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In October, trackable leads from our printed directories showed a 6.5% increase. As good as that figure is, it pales into insignificance when you consider the number of customer searches requested at localpages.co.uk

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The above graph shows monthly localpages.co.uk searches over last three years

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After a big slump during the spring when most of country was in lockdown, the number of online searches has increased to record levels. The average number of monthly searches between August and October this year is 15,934, an amazing 28.5% increase on the same period last year and a 51.7% increase on the year before.

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More than ever, people are relying on Local Pages Online to connect with local businesses within their communities. This large increase in users means that localpages.co.uk has never been so cost-effective or, with annual ‘Enhanced’ contracts available for less than £5.00 per week, delivered such high returns on investment.

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To find out more about how your business can tap into this huge increase in potential customers, book an appointment with one of our sales team below.

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Local Pages – Connecting local businesses and local people

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Homeworking – The New Normal

Like many other companies, over the last five months most  of us at Local Pages have spent a considerable amount of time working from home. Unthought of a year ago, we have now discovered that by changing our working practices and investing in new technology we can be more efficient while offering our team greater flexibility in how and where they work. 

There have been other benefits too. Cutting back on commuting and replacing face-to-face client visits with video calls has substantially reduced our carbon footprint and less people in the office means savings on space, heating and lighting. 

Five months in and we are still counting the benefits from a business perspective. But how do the staff feel about such a radical change? So, we asked them. Specifically we asked what were the best and worst bits about working from home. You can see from the list below that the positives far outweigh the negatives and where there are negatives we are doing our best to address them.

lp-logo-30px Best

 

  • Not having to spend time putting on makeup
  • Not having to sit in traffic every day getting to work
  • Saving money on petrol
  • Looking out over my garden from the office chair
  • Being able to work in casual clothes (but definitely notmy PJs!)
  • Having a well organised and ergonomically functioning office based around me.
  • Being able to concentrate without distractions
  • Greater productivity and accuracy
  • It’s quiet 
  • Not having to walk miles/downstairs to the printer/shredder
  • Having more ‘me’ time without having to commute
  • Being able to hang out the washing during the day
  • Feeling safe from coronavirus
  • Be able to accept Amazon parcels
  • The days fly by
  • Being able to spend more time talking to customers
  • Losing weight (away from the office biscuit tin)
  • Reducing our carbon footprint
  • Saving on paper
  • Greater efficiency with video calls replacing face to face meetings 
  • Enjoying the company of my dogs and cats

lp-logo-30px Worst 

 

  • It’s harder working on a diddy little screen
  • Missing the banter and interaction with colleagues
  • Using my electricity (offset by the savings on fuel)
  • IT issues more difficult to resolve remotely
  • Using a lot more printer paper
  • Missing the ‘buzz’ of a busy office
  • Connectivity issues
  • Motivation and moral is lower without the support of the rest of the team
  • Unlimited snacking
  • Loneliness if you don’t have a dog or cat to keep you company

Working from home is now the new normal with commercial, environmental and employee benefits. It’s just a shame that it took a global pandemic to force us into taking off our blinkers, opening our eyes and doing things differently.

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A Really BIG Thank You

Local Pages Goes from Strength to Strength

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients who have advertised in our 24 Little Blue Books over the last 12 months along with the people that use and rely on them to find products and services within their locality.

The Local Pages financial year has just ended and we can report that we have had our most successful year in our 41 years of trading. Remarkably, despite the lockdown, revenues this April were our biggest ever as forward thinking businesses looked to ensure a steady flow of leads once the current restrictions are lifted.

The increase in revenue has allowed us to expand our team by 30% and create a number of initiatives to help improve the lead generating services we offer our clients.

  • We have increased the number of directories delivered by Royal Mail to the local communities we serve by 8% (Around 40,000 extra households)
  • We have created a marketing team to raise the profile of our Little Blue Books and online search facilities to drive even more leads
  • We have expanded our digital services team to provide more low cost websites and online lead generation to businesses targeting their local communities.

Despite the current business difficulties, we remain confident and optimistic about the future and believe that local economies will be rebuilt by independent businesses fulfilling the needs of the local communities they serve.

At Local Pages it is our objective to support those businesses and communities in whatever we can.

Local Pages – Local leads for local businesses

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Sign up to the FREE Community Hub

To help our local communities through this difficult time, we’ve  set up a Community Hub.

The Community Hub can be found at www.localpages.co.uk

The aim of the Community Hub is to create an online directory where people can find the services and support they need to help them through the current Coronavirus pandemic.

We are asking all community groups offering services to add their details. By doing so, those requiring assistance will be able to click on the town links to find help and services local to them.

The Community Hub is totally free.

Please sign up today, as the more organisations that leave their details, the more useful it becomes.

www.localpages.co.uk

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Working From Home

Working from home is not as easy as it seems. Not only are there a host of distractions, but there is your mental and physical health to consider. By not travelling to work every day, it is easy to overlook the physical benefits of getting to there and the social benefits of interacting with colleagues.

So to help you keep productive and sane, here are the Local Pages’ tips for successfully working from home.

 

 

 

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Local Pages – Helping Local Business

The Coronavirus has had a massive impact on local businesses throughout the country and the consequences have been especially felt by SMEs and the self-employed in the areas we serve. As a small family business employing 18 people, we recognise the current challenges faced by many of our loyal customers and wish to support you in whatever way we can.

We don’t know when the current situation will end, but we must all remain positive and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise once the lockdown is lifted. The truth is, people still want your products and services even if you can’t currently supply them. This means that once the restrictions are over, demand for your products and services will be even higher.

For this reason, we are putting the following initiatives into place to help your business in the short term while generating enquiries for the future:

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Extended Payment Terms

Where possible we will offer extended payment terms to help with cash-flow while your business is temporarily on hold.

 

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Deferred Payment Terms

Normally we would expect payment with your order. However, due to the current circumstances and the pressures that some of our customers are experiencing due to cash flow, where possible we will defer payment from the time of booking your order until the Little Blue Book goes to print.

 

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Free Digital Consultation A no-obligation review of your online presence with suggestions regarding how you use your website and social media channels to grow your business in the future.

Call the team on 0117 9321122 to book an appointment.

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Increased Promotion of our Little Blue Book

We are increasing the amount of promotional activity aimed at users. We strongly believe that people buy from people they know and trust. That is the reason we publish our Little Blue Book.

For over 40 years, people have trusted the information within it and the businesses it recommends.

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Increased Promotion of www.localpages.co.uk

We are increasing our online promotional activity which will greatly benefit our online advertisers especially those with enhanced and premium listings. With the cost of Google and Facebook advertising rocketing at the moment, our online search directory offers an even better return on investment.

The current situation is not going to last forever and it is important that all businesses prepare for when the restrictions are lifted. Local Pages is in a unique position to help. For those that wish to hit the ground running, our online search directory can generate leads at a fraction of the price of Google and Facebook. In the long term, our trusted Little Blue Books are still being updated and delivered to ensure your business details are at your potential customers’ fingertips as and when they are required.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and the kind messages that we have received during the past couple of weeks. As mentioned earlier, we are a family business and we look upon all our customers as members of our extended family, without whom we wouldn’t be able to continue serving your community. Stay safe and if we can be of any further assistance please let me know.

 

With my best regards

Dan Bernard

Managing Director
Click here for the latest government advice on Coronavirus.

Click here for the latest government advice for employers and businesses

Click here for details of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme

Click here for details regarding the Small Business Grant Fund

Happy to help.

Get in touch with one of the Local Pages Team today:
0117 932 1122

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Local Pages’ Lockdown Support

At Local Pages we want to give extra help to our loyal customers during this difficult time.

Every customer that renews their Local Pages directory listing during the lockdown period will receive the following extra benefits.

Free enhanced listing on our online search directory for 3 months worth £120.00/Year.
Our online directory normally appears on the first page of Google and receives over 300 searches a day for products and services just like yours.
An enhanced listing comes with the following features to help you stand out from your competition:
  • A display advert consisting of your highlighted  company name along with your logo, address, email address, two telephone numbers, link to your website and a description of the products and services you provide.
  • Your enhanced listing sits within four different category headings.
  • Your enhanced listing gets priority over free entries and basic listings
Free Website and Digital Marketing Consultation
There is no better time to consider your online marketing activities to ensure your business is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities available once the lockdown is lifted.

Our online marketing team will offer you free, no obligation advice on:

  • Website design and user experience
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Pay Per Click advertising
  • Online display advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Social media set up and marketing
For more information call Local Pages now on 0117 9231122 or email info@localpages.co.uk
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