BID Update 14.04.20: BID Support for businesses: New online high street for Bognor Regis!
At the start of the restrictions, the BID was exploring ways to provide online shopping facilities for our businesses to help you stay operational in some way, shape or form whilst your physical premises were closed. However, the situation developed so rapidly that all our focus was redirected to the more pressing needs of providing information to help you access grants and other financial support.
Now that things have calmed down slightly, we’ve had the chance to concentrate on creating a simple way for all businesses, groups and organisations to show what adapted services they’re offering during Coronavirus social-distancing rules, to help customers and clients find you in one, easy to find place. We’ve now found a way to do that. The Website: This is what we’ve set up so far: https://www.shoplocalbognorregis.co.uk/ You’ll see we’ve already set up a number of listings – some are areal, some made up – to show you what the site could look like. The more people that list, the better the site will be, because all the information people in the community are asking for and need will be in one place, rather than dotted around on different Facebook posts, or on your own shop website, or on a list somewhere…. There are 492 businesses in the BID Area alone, and I’m setting a really ambitious target of getting 80 businesses, groups and organisations listed on here by Friday 17th. Please help me to get your business up on the site – I promise you, it’s NOT pointless, it’s really straightforward, and it’ll take less than ten minutes of your time to enter your details. Once we have a healthy number of listings on the site, we’ll go public to the local community. Can people buy things through the site? We recognised that so many businesses had made MASSIVE changes to adapt their businesses in a ridiculously short period of time, but not everyone went down the online shopping route, or is in a position where they feel ready to take that on right now. We therefore focused on delivering something that would benefit the most number of people. What we’ve created is not an online shop in itself – people won’t be able to order or purchase things through it – but they can link DIRECTLY to any online shop you already have set up, and email you DIRECTLY through the site. Obviously, if you don’t have an online shop set up yet, you won’t have any info to add into that section – it’s no problem! You can always add details at a later date, if you get something like that in place. Who can list? This isn’t just for shops and selling things. We chose “shoplocalbognorregis” because it’s an uncomplicated domain name to remember and (hopefully) spell! And also because “shop local” is a well known phrase that summons up a lot of associations that are helpful to what we’re trying to achieve. The big vision is for it to be a community asset in a time of crisis, so we want to hear from any businesses, groups, or charities have moved their services to online or telephone, or set up a Youtube channel, or are supporting the community and can offer help. Churches can list, medical centres can list, solicitors and accountants can list, marketing companies can list, the town council can list, traders from Bognor General market can list, even if your business is currently closed you can still list and point people towards your social media. Is it free to list? This is a BID project, so any business listings are restricted to businesses located in the BID Area. If you’re a business within the BID area, you can list for free whether you pay the levy or not. Your listings will stay on the site for as long as you’re a BID Business and as long as you want them to be there. However, while the social distancing restrictions are affecting all of our community, we’re also going to invite any non-BID area groups, charities and organisations that are providing support to the local community at no charge to list on the site for free. Just a quick note – if you are a new group or service that came into being to respond to need caused by Covid-19, I will need to contact you before I approve your listing. Please don’t be offended, but I don’t want people using the site to be put at any risk in any way. How to list your business or group It’s really, really easy. I know this because I’ve trialled this with a number of people, including someone that REALLY doesn’t like technology, and they said it was easy, and took around five minutes to do. You can do everything from the website – no emails back and forth – no fuss. 1) Follow this link that takes you to the main page : www.shoplocalbognorregis.co.uk 2) Scroll down to the section where it says “Our Directory” 3) Click on the “Account” button on the right hand side 4) Click on the link that says “sign up” 5) Follow the instructions – you create your own password! 6) Answer the questions about your business – leave sections blank if they don’t apply That’s it! Once you’ve filled in your details, I’ll give it a quick check, add the rainbow logo for your business, group or organisation and then publish it online. ISSUES THAT ARE BOUND TO COME UP The options don’t reflect what we do! Some of the sections ask you to choose from the options available. I’ve tried really hard to create options that will apply to as many businesses as I could possibly think of, but still woke up at various points in the night shouting “Jewellers!” and “Pet groomers”! Fully recognising that I will have DEFINITELY missed something that’s vitally important and relevant to someone’s business or operations, I’ve created sections underneath anything with options so you can type in what you want to say and I’ll add it for you. You can’t change any of the options that I’ve set up, so just pick anything from the list and tell me what you want in the next section. This isn’t going to be an immediately perfect system– we’re pretty much trying to recreate all of Bognor Regis town centre, and we only started this last Monday. There are bound to be a few glitches, so let’s just get started and deal with the tweaks as they come up. My business can’t operate at all at the moment - how does this help me? It might not feel like it, but it really is worth setting up your listing now – that way, as soon as social distancing rules are relaxed, we can change your status to “business as normal”. This site isn’t just a Coronavirus quick fix – it’s going to be really helpful in the future. You may not be able to serve your customers in person at the moment, but you can show them that you’re still here, and that you’ll be coming back. Set up the listing – I’ve included some options to choose from that capture where you’re at now, like “We’re closed for now but we’ll be back as soon as we can.” If you’re a sports or leisure facility, could you set up any Youtube videos of your own, or put a collection together? Could you curate a Spotify playlist and set out some simple home workouts? If you’re a venue, can you do a video tour or put together an online “exhibition”? If your business is service based, such as hair and beauty, could you offer a “voucher for the future” package deal that can be used at a later date? Your clients will be missing you – they wish you well – try to connect with them on social media. Use your listing to drive them to your social media channels. Why can’t I add my own logo? We wanted the site to have a really unified design. Not every business HAS a logo, or fantastic high resolution images, so rather than having a mix up of different styles or different quality images, we went for the rainbow motif for now. It shows connectivity, and hope, and also reflects that this is a “now time” site, showing how you’ve adapted to reach people “now”. Over time, we can develop the site to a style that best suits businesses’ needs, but this works well for the time being. What happens next? Once you’ve added your details and submit them, I’ll have access and will be able approve your listing. I may need to contact you for a few details, or to clarify certain things, but otherwise it’s pretty straightforward. What if I want to edit my listing? It’s really important that you keep your listing up to date, and to make any changes as quickly as you possibly can. The main reason we opted for this approach is that it puts your listing on your hands – you don’t need to send detailed emails to have any changes made – you can do it yourself, as soon as you need to. These are the steps you need to take: 1) Follow this link that takes you to the main page : https://www.shoplocalbognorregis.co.uk/ 2) Scroll down to the section where it says “Our Directory” 3) Click on the “Edit” button on the right hand side 4) Login using your email address and the password you created 5) On the edit page, click “Edit” and it’ll bring up your listing details 6) Go back through your listing to make any changes you need. 7) To change an option you previously selected, use the delete key to remove the one you don’t want, then choose new options from the list below. 8) Make sure you scroll right down to the bottom of your listing, and click UPDATE to save your changes. I can’t make this work!!!!! Call me before you get angry: 07917 692690, and I’ll help you! How long will it take to get my listing online? It doesn’t take me long to create your logo, check your details and get it online. The only delay will be if I suddenly have 100 new listings to approve all in one go, but even in that scenario, it will take me less than a working day to get them checked and up. Let me know if your listing doesn’t show within 24 hours of filling in the details: firstname.lastname@example.org Whilst Clair is temporarily furloughed, and I am working from home, you can still contact me by email: email@example.com, by phone: 07917 692690 or through Zoom meeting software. The software is free to download and works across a wide range of platforms – phones, tablets, PC’s, Macs. If you’d like a virtual face to face, please invite: firstname.lastname@example.org Kindest regards, Heather Heather Allen, BR BID Co-Ordinator