Author Archives: Broadbiz Web Services

Ten Years Today for Broadbiz!!!

Broadbiz Logo

The Broadbiz logo, sketched on the back of a train ticket back in 2005…

Today, Tuesday 15th December 2015 is the 10th anniversary of the day that we formed Broadbiz.

Whoooosh… How quickly has that gone? But how much have we achieved in that time?

I don’t want to bore you with too much detail but here’s a potted history of what has happened to us over the past 10 years. There’s lots more planned as we grow and grow.

 

Getting Started in IT

City University logo

A “surprise” element of IT in Ian’s degree course at City University shaped his career and ultimately formed Broadbiz.

Well it starts with my career (Ian Lodge) in IT as far back as when I started my maths degree at City University in 1988. I turned up to do a Maths and Stats degree and was shocked to find out on the first day that there was IT in the course. Apart from playing Track and Field on a spectrum at home, what did I know about IT?

Oh well. Time to suck it up and get on with it. And after limping through my degree course, I actually found out that I quite enjoyed this IT stuff! So I got a job in it working in London for Dept. of Trade and Industry (thanks to my dad for this one) initially programming mainframe computers which were as big as a double fridge with less power that the phone you have in your pocket today!

Then onto some Oracle database stuff and when the web came around for real in around 2000, I turned my skills to web technologies. Having a mum as an artist and my dad as an IT bloke, the web kind of seemed like the ideal path.

 

How Did We Start?

Let's Care header image

The first website header that we made for Broadstairs-based Let’s care; Kerry and Teresa

Late in 2005, my sister-in-law and business partner, Teresa approached me to design a simple site to promote their holiday let management business based in Broadstairs. I was delighted and we got going.

Well somehow I had to be paid and with a full time job and salary in London so we founded the company on 15th December 2005. I remember that I used one of the work PCs to do it which in hindsight was a bit risky, but there were no such things as smartphones back then!

 

The Early Years 2005-2010

The next few years saw the company grow with me doing the development and my wife, Pip doing the paperwork. In all honesty, there wasn’t a huge amount of time to develop but my 4 hour daily commute on the train was used wisely. Whilst other commuters were snoozing on the train, I was developing on a laptop in the corner ready to upload when I got to an internet connection.

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We picked up a series of clients over those years and by 2010 we had 40-50 small clients who were happy to see their web developer on a rare day off, evenings or weekends. We realised we had something that we could sell and just as importantly that we could help local businesses expose their products and services to the local and worldwide communities via the power of the web.

 

Working in the Local Community

As community minded folk, we wanted to make this thing work for some of the organisations in the local area that maybe had little or no available funds to make the most of the web.

Visit the Broadstairs Water Gala website

Screenshot of the Broadstairs Water Gala website

From day one, we have offered 20% off of all our services for any Community or Charity based organisation and the number of organisation that we have helped have been many.
These are just a few of them; Broadstairs Dickens Festival, Margate Soul Weekend, Broadstairs Town Team, Thanet Wanderers RUFC, Broadstairs Water Gala and Thanet Support.

Broadbiz still offer 20% off for all these organisations and more information is available on our website so feel free to get in touch if we can help.

 

The General Election 2010

Whilst the formation of the first coalition Government for nearly 40 years might not seem like a key turning point in many lives, it was a major factor for me.

Business Innovation & Skills logo

A redundancy offer from Business Innovation & Skills in 2010, allowed Broadbiz to thrive.

With a Conservative lead Government came a redundancy offer for every single employee at DTI, now renamed the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Whilst I had quite a key role in the development of ICT in the organisation and didn’t think they would entertain my application, I thought there was no harm in putting up, fully expecting to be turned down.

But, with a recession kicking off, there were not many hands in the air and it turned out that every hand that went up got offered a package including me. And this started the next part of my life and for Broadbiz to become a proper business with proper revenue and proper salaries.

 

Move to the Kent Innovation Centre – 2011

It was clear from the start of this new era that local business owners were only going to be interested in us if we had proper premises and one of our clients, Aquaread was based at the Kent Innovation Centre and suggested we came and had a look. Which we did and we are still here now!

Kent Innovation Centre

A move to the Kent Innovation Centre in 2011 gave us the professionalism we needed

With a proper professional premises, client parking right outside, high-speed internet and a welcoming reception area, we were set. I know this sounds like an advert but this is a great place for a small business and yes, there are some offices available if you are interested!

Over the years, we have moved from a 1-desk room to a 2-desk room and now into a 5-desk room. The good thing about this place is that when we upsize again in a few months, we will need to drag our furniture along the corridor into a bigger office.

 

The Employer Years 2012-2015

Obviously with professional offices, we could employ people and Lewis Hardisty (still with us today) joined us in 2012 as the first. Then in 2015, Jamie Galvin and Jonathan Plumridge also joined us on apprenticeship schemes and today we are a team of 4 developers plus Pip as the office manager.

The team at Broadbiz; Lewis, Jamie and Jonathan

The team at Broadbiz; Lewis, Jamie and Jonathan

There will be more people joining us over the next 6 months or so, so if you are interested and think you have the skills required, please do drop us a line.

 

The Changing Web 2012-2015

Screenshot of The Angel Rooms website via mobile devices

Screenshot of The Angel Rooms website via mobile devices

It might not seem so long ago, but it’s really only the last 4 years that we have had the web in our pocket and that has been the real change in humans’ need for the web and the information that it holds for us all.

Technically there have been some massive changes which most readers will not be interested in, HTML5 and CSS3, mobile-friendly but that you use every day and we are proud of the fact that we keep abreast of the changes in the industry and adapt our services accordingly.

 

The Growth Years 2013-2015

Website Screenshot - The Gallery Boutique

Screenshot of the Gallery Boutique website, the shop is based right opposite the Harbour Arm in Margate. Just one of our online shops.

From 2013 onwards, we have seen the real upward trend for Broadbiz and that growth grows every few months.

These days, we get enquiries from around 5 local businesses each week and whilst not every single one is a perfect fit for us and for them, we sign up at least 10 new clients every month.

We are supporting well over 300 clients now and our business model has always been to work long term with those.

 

How Do We Feel About All This?

Izzy and Ashlee at Harry Potter World in Watford

Izzy and Ashlee were 2 months and 2 years old when we started this thing! Now 10 and 12 and we’ve been there!

Pip and I both feel very proud of what we have achieved with Broadbiz over the last decade. It has allowed us to work in the lovely area in which we live, reduce our commute and watch our two wonderful daughters grow up. They were 2 years old and 2 months old when we formed the company.

We are also very proud of the fact that we are able to make a difference to 100s of businesses and we like to think that lots of those would not be in the position that they are now without Broadbiz.

The promotion of local businesses to local people, keeps local money in the local area. We can never begin to measure that, but we have definitely had an impact on the local economy.

 

Any Regrets?

None. Really none. OK, we may have done a few things differently but pretty much it’s been good. Here’s to the next 10 years, 20 years, however many!

 

Get In Touch with Us

If Broadbiz can help you at all, whether you are interested in developing or redeveloping your web presence or working here, please get in touch.

Launch of the Active Football Academy website

Active Football Academy - Website Screenshot

Screenshot of the Active Football Academy website

Broadbiz have just launched another website for a local football organisation. Active Football Academy came to us when they needed a website presence to promote their products and introduce their football school, holiday camps and much more.

You can visit the website at www.activefootballacademy.co.uk.

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New Website for BJM Plumbing & Heating

Website Screenshot - BJM Plumbing and Heating

Screenshot of the BJM Plumbing and Heating website.

Here at Broadbiz, we have just finished developing a new site for BJM Plumbing & Heating and you can visit the website now at www.bjmplumbingandheating.co.uk.

Ben from BJM has over 10 years of experience, ranging from domestic plumbing and heating to commercial plumbing and heating along with new build and refurbishment work on existing dwellings.

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Black Friday Deals from our Customers

It has come from the US and seems to be bigger every year with more and more being spent online each year and I’m sure you are aware that today is Black Friday. You can read about it here.

We thought that you might like to see a few of the deal that our customers are running which may be if use to you, so here goes.

Keith Graham Hairdressing

Based in Cliftonville, Keith Graham Hairdressing are offering 25% off all Paul Mitchell products in store all day. Pop along to see them or visit their website at www.keithgrahamhairdressing.co.uk.

Keith Graham Hairdressing Black Friday offer image

Serene Salon

In Broadstairs, Serene Hair and Beauty have a series of Black Friday deal including 20% off Kerastase and Katherine Daniels products and facials as well as bonus offers on all their vouchers. Take a look at their site at www.serenesalon.co.uk/special-offers.php.

Serene Salon Black Friday image

Red Bean Machine

Whilst over at Red Bean Machine, there is 25% off all flavoured beans and all you need to do is enter BFRI at checkout. Take a look at their site at www.redbeanmachine.com.

Red Bean Machine Black Friday image

New Website Launch – The Gallery Boutique

Website Screenshot - The Gallery Boutique

Screenshot of the Gallery Boutique website.

Many people will already know The Gallery Boutique right on Margate seafront but now you can buy their stock online at www.galleryboutique.co.uk.

The boutique has been on the seafront for over a year now and sells some beautiful, individual boutique ladies clothes, shoes and accessories. Pop in next time you are in Margate but if you can’t get there, use the online shop.

Mobile Screenshot

Mobile site for The Gallery Boutique website

You can browse through products and get it delivered to your doorstep with no hassle. You can also visit The Gallery Boutique on Facebook.

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New Launch – J W Construction and Property Maintenance

jwconstructionpropertyHere at Broadbiz HQ, we have just completed the development a new site for Birchington-based building firm, J W Construction & Property Maintenance. Take a look at www.jwconstructionproperty.co.uk

The site for J W Construction has been in development for quite some time allowing the customers to make sure that each element is perfect before the launch.

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Launch of website for Hayley Owers, BDS

We have just launched a small website for local Hayley Owers, BDS Dental Surgeon in record time! take a look at www.hayleyowers.co.uk.

We think that after over 3000 websites, this was the quickest that we have ever gone from initial consultation to launch. We first spoke to Hayley about this on Wednesday and on Friday morning it was live. Shows how quick it can be done if the client has all the content and is flexible on design.

Hayley Owers is an experienced general dentist having spent over 25 years in general practice and is now working at www.winghamdental.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hayley came to us 2 days ago needing a simple yet professional looking website. She delivered the content to us quickly and after a few alterations she now has a live professional website which looks great!

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New online shop for The Angel Rooms

For those of you that have been to Broadstairs seafront recently, you may have seen The Angel Rooms on the part of the seafront by the Sailing Club.

Well, thanks to them and to Broadbiz, they are now on selling their beautiful handmade products online at www.theangelrooms.uk. We have launched that today and it looks as beautiful as the shop itself. Even if we say so ourselves!

The Angel Rooms - Screenshot

Screenshot of The Angel Rooms website

Screenshot of The Angel Rooms website via mobile devices

Screenshot of The Angel Rooms website via mobile devices

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gift shop specializes in creating wish bottles for the home, weddings and other occasions. Each one is made with care and includes a custom message inside.

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