Author Archives: Darren Winter

Five Easy Ways to Cut Costs During Slow Seasons

Strategically reducing costs during slow seasons will make your small business more profitable year-round. And while it is easy to get carried away when you see decreasing revenue numbers, especially after a busy christmas season, cutting costs doesn’t have to mean taking drastic measures. The key is knowing where and how to find savings without impacting your ability to provide quality service or products.

restaurant owner reviews annual expenses
Balancing the books

Review and analyze your expenses

You’ll need to know where you’re spending to cut costs effectively. Ideally, you’ll have kept a good record of all your business expenses and transactions in an accounting system for at least six months, if not more. Having cost data properly stored and readily available will help you manage your cash flow, save time, and make business decisions.

Review and analyze your business spending by asking: What expenses do you have that aren’t necessary? Is there anything you can eliminate? If so, how much would that save per month? Examine each category of expense – operations, utilities, property leases, internet bills, phone bills, vendor contracts, and employee business expenses. You will find that some categories have higher spending than others and could be reduced without affecting your overall business.

Five Ways to Reduce Costs for Your Small Business

  • 1. Reduce inventory

Managing inventory can be costly unless you can determine the right reorder points for your small business and efficiently eliminate old inventory. Knowing when and how much to buy will reduce costs while offering excess inventory at a discounted price can bring in a much-needed cash injection.

  • 2. Negotiate with lenders and suppliers

If you have a loan or lease, it’s worth asking for a better interest rate or lower monthly payments. If you’re paying off debt and have been for some time, try negotiating with the lender on paying off your debt early. Likewise, negotiate with suppliers to receive volume discounts or long-term incentives.

  • 3. Get creative with your product offerings

Consider grouping multiple products and services to create a bundle. You can then sell the bundle for one price, enticing customers to buy at a discounted rate. Purchases may mean a lower cost per unit, but bundling is a successful way to boost sales and move through inventory.

  • 4. Cut back on marketing expenses

Keeping good records of spending and ROI (return on investment) is essential when deciding where to cut back on marketing expenses. Depending on your marketing strategy, it might be a good time to stop ad spending and utilize free tools such as social media and email marketing to promote your business organically. Experiment with video marketing techniques which can be done on a small budget and yield a significant ROI.

  • 5. Use technology to reduce costs

Using technology creates many benefits while also reducing costs. Implementing assets like accounting software, cloud computing, and CRM (customer relationship management) systems will improve customer service and efficiency–two things that will ultimately reduce costs and grow revenue.

Small changes can make a big difference

While these suggestions may seem small, they can make a big difference in helping your business through the slow season. Take advantage of the time to keep an eye on your bottom line, stay within budget and maximize sales even during a predictably slow season.

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Business goals

How to set Small Business Goals

Business goals are specific objectives designed to help a small business succeed. If you own or manage a small business, setting clear goals can help your business grow, overcome challenges, improve efficiency, and much more. Each small business’s goals may differ, as every business and business owner is unique.

If you’re considering setting small business goals, you may be wondering how, and which strategies may help you pick effective goals to keep moving your business forward.

Key Takeaways

  • Business goals help business owners and managers work toward important objectives.
  • Goals may include a mix of short-term and long-term goals.
  • Goals may range from specific financial results to operational metrics.
  • Each business is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to set small business goals.

What Are Business Goals? 

Business goals are objectives important to helping a business achieve short-term and long-term success. Without business goals, a business owner or manager may flounder and struggle to earn a profit. With clear and reasonable goals, you may find yourself in a better position to keep the business open and operating for years to come.

One of the most popular methods of setting business goals is the SMART goals framework. SMART is an acronym for criteria to use when choosing goals:

  • Specific: “Specific” means a goal with a clear finish line that’s easy to measure. Something such as “increase profits” is not specific, whereas “increase profits by 20%” or “increase revenue by £10,000 per month” qualifies as specific.
  • Measurable: This helps you know when you’ve crossed the finish line and keeps you pointed in the right direction. You can’t measure a vague goal like “increase customer loyalty,” but you can measure the number of repeat visits, average revenue per customer, or results from a customer survey.
  • Achievable: You may have a dream of earning a billion pounds a year from your business. That may be possible at some point in the future. However, is it achievable in the next 12 or 24 months? When setting goals, make them realistic and reasonable, but not too easy.
  • Relevant: Goals should be focused on business results and relevant to what you’re trying to achieve. For example, it may be fun to grow your social media following. But your Instagram or Twitter accounts might be irrelevant if you don’t turn followers into customers. What’s relevant depends on the business and your goals. Ultimately, every goal should lead to improving long-term profits.
  • Time-bound: If you don’t have a strict deadline, you may find yourself continually delaying or kicking the can down the road. With time-bound goals, you have a little pressure on yourself to keep working toward that deadline.

Of course, these are only guidelines and one method to set goals. However, SMART goals are popular for a reason. They work well for many applications, including business management. Working with an action plan or business plan can also help you build a blueprint to grow and maintain a profitable company.

Short-Term Business Goals 

In business, short-term goals often mean one year or less. For example, in accounting and finance, one year is used as a benchmark for categorizing assets and liabilities on the balance sheet and determining certain tax rates.

Note

Some businesses may want to focus their short-term goals on periods shorter than a year, such as a quarter, month, or even weekly or daily goals.

Here are some examples of short-term business goals to inspire your goal creation:

  • Increase average sales per day by 50 in the next 90 days
  • Grow revenue by £20,000 per month after one year
  • Lower employee turnover rate by 10% over six months
  • Make five sales to repeat customers per week
  • Decrease cost of production by 5% per unit in six months
  • Lower average days to invoice collection by seven days after one year

Again, every business is unique, so these goals could be spot-on for your business or completely different from what’s important to you. Understanding your biggest challenges, opportunities, and key performance indicators (KPIs) is critical. You can focus your goals and efforts on your business’s most relevant and effective needs.

Long-Term Business Goals 

Long-term business goals should have you thinking more like five to 10 years instead of immediately beyond the one-year horizon. Even if you were not good at telling your school teacher or old boss where you saw yourself in five or 10 years, here’s where it’s time to apply that concept to your business.

Long-term goals may also follow the SMART goals framework, but can be loftier and require more to achieve. You may use short-term goals as stepping stones to reach these larger goals.

Examples of small business goals for long-term results may include:

  • Double the number of brick-and-mortar locations in five years
  • Add 25 sales representatives over the next two years
  • Reach 100,000 customers in 10 years
  • Hit £250,000 in annual revenue by 2025
  • Become carbon neutral in 5 years
  • Produce products using only recycled materials by 2027

Goals are a helpful management tool in many ways. Setting long-term goals can motivate you and your team to work together toward success.

Note

If you tie bonuses and compensation to reaching business goals, you know your employees are incentivized to hit the target you set as most important for the business. It will also make them feel involved in the core of the company, rather than just a moving part.

Examples of How Small Businesses Set Goals 

To better understand setting small business goals, here’s an example. Let’s say you bought a new food van and want to turn it into a successful business to support your family. Here are several goals that such businesses might consider to get rolling in the right financial direction:

  • Find two weekly recurring events and four monthly recurring events to attend within three months
  • Average £500 in sales per hour of operations by the end of year one
  • Create a website and forms for online catering requests within 30 days
  • Hire two part-time employees within the next two weeks and four part-time employees by the end of the first year
  • Adjust the menu to achieve a minimum 7% profit margin within six months
  • Reach £100,000 in annual sales by the end of year two
  • Earn £60,000 in annual profits by the end of year three

This blueprint offers a mix of short- and long-term goals, which is great for building and maintaining momentum. If goals are too hard or all long term, it may be difficult, if impossible, to hit your target. With the right goals and consistent tracking, you’re setting yourself up for the best possible results.

The Bottom Line 

Business goals are critical for many business owners to succeed. Knowing where you want to take your business helps you and your team stay focused on the right places and activities. With a laser focus on goals following the SMART goals system, there’s no reason you can’t find the success you’re seeking. Combining strategic goals, hard work, and a little luck, you may find yourself on track to run your business for years to come.

What to know more or book a job with us? Head over to our website, email us, or give us a call on 020 3790 3738. Keep up with news via our socials here. #Itsbetterbyair #always

Your Website: Six Ways to Refresh it for 2023

A new year brings with it a feeling of a fresh start. Here at Air Courier we are currently re-doing our entire site from start to finish (it is long overdue), but there are ways to update and refresh it without starting from the beginning. How you start your 2023 can make all the difference when it comes to the momentum you create for the rest of the year. For a small business owner with a significant portion of your presence online, now is an excellent time to dive deep into your website and take note of what’s working, what’s not working, and what simply needs a new coat of paint. The following six strategies can help you make sure your website looks and functions at its best for 2023.

Do a basic diagnostic check


Websites can be tricky. Without routine maintenance, links and plugins can begin to behave differently than originally intended. Look into the following to keep your site functioning at its best:

  • Bad quality and/or missing imagesperson coding a website
  • Any user info that is outdated or incorrect
  • Plugins that need to be updated
  • Themes that require a redesign or an update
  • Formatting issues
  • Any missing content

Gather feedback from your audience


Your website represents you and your business. To get the most accurate feedback about how your site is truly consumed, you need to reach out to your consumers. Ask your audience what they like and don’t like about the site directly. You may be surprised at their willingness to engage and share their thoughts with you. There are plenty of ways to uncover and organize information such as threads, email campaigns and surveys. Use what works best for you and commit to making the changes your audience will appreciate.

Research the competition


The importance of researching your small business competitors is often addressed. When you want to learn about what is working, looking over the fence at your neighbor could be exactly the solution you need. This remains true for website functionality. Take the time to look over the sites of your contemporaries and note what stands out to you, what you’re doing better, and what strategies you can borrow.

Analyze your analytics


Looking outward isn’t the only solution. To paint a complete picture of what needs to be updated on your site, you want to research what you’re already doing. Sift through your analytic data for the following information:

  • Which pages create the highest bounce rate (when a visitor leaves your site)
  • Pages that are the most popular
  • What pages seem to create the highest level of engagement

Spruce up your SEO


New customers mean more business. And when it comes to your website, one of the best ways for new customers to discover you is through your keywords. Choosing the right keywords through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) will help your ranking in searches and land you more visitors. To make sure you have a significant amount of highly searchable words, you will need to do a little homework. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Wordtracker are just two of the options you can use to help you boost your search results.

Bring more content to the table


Customers who visit a website are not likely to stay very long if they aren’t engaged. When thinking of ways to revitalize your website for this year, keep in mind the fact that many of your customers know what to expect and may have even become jaded with your content. Don’t be afraid to add new content such as:

  • Videos to easily describe your products and services
  • Create a blog
  • Take the time to rewrite sections of your site (factoring SEO and surveys)

It’s best to avoid relying exclusively on regular changes to your website when an additional annual refresh can make all the difference. Using the online strategies listed above, you can continue into 2023 prepared for success.

We will be sending out a newsletter very soon with a user manual on how to use the website and whats new. It’s very exciting! To book a shipment with us, please give us a call on 020 3790 8786, or visit our soon-to-be updated website here.

‘Tis the Season: Small Business Gift Giving

Giving holiday gifts is a great way to build relationships with employees, vendors, and customers. But it can be stressful to determine who should be on the gift list, how much to give, and what is appropriate to give. Let’s think through these criteria.

Decide Whom to Gift 

On average, 65% of a company’s business comes from existing clients, so gifting these individuals is essential. Equally important are your long-term employees and vendors. For some small companies, that could mean giving presents to dozens of individuals, which isn’t always financially possible. Determine who should receive a gift by considering a few things. Consider the time you’ve spent working with the individual, how easy or difficult they are to work with, if you’re currently working on a big project with them, and if they have sent client or employee referrals your way.

Determine Your Budget

As you plan who will receive a Christmas gift, you’ll determine how much money you can afford to spend. Although research varies, a familiar holiday spending formula is to reserve 1.5% of your revenue for gifting. You can then decide how much money to spend on each person based on the preceding considerations. Avoid Christmas gift giving pressure by not spending more than you can afford.

gift your employees in 2022
Gift your employees before 2023

Five Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you appreciate when your peers employ your services. Holiday gift-giving time is a great way to reciprocate and show gratitude to other small businesses. Many offer easy online ordering and delivery. Here are five to check out:

– Cocoon Corporate – Choose any of your favourite hamper that suits your employees needs. The company has a huge range of items: completely personalised or you can pick one of their pre-made ones. Perfect for those employees working from home, too. 

– Babbel: Skill classes are a great gift that benefits the company and your employees. Babbel offers language courses specifically designed to give employees a lasting holiday gift. 

– Cakehead: Whether it’s to treat your team or to spread some joy to your customers, food can get you guaranteed brownie points with the gift of Cakehead’s delicious bakes and cakes. Their hand crafted and hand finished brownies & bakes can be delivered straight to employees’ doors perfectly packaged and with a personalised gift note inside. 

Walk-in backrub: A Backrub is a wonderful style of deeply relaxing Japanese massage which helps release stress and promotes health and well-being. It can be a great way to reward your employees after a year of hard work, and it can be something you could commit to on a monthly basis into 2023. 

– Loop & Tie: Purchase unique gifts from small businesses giving back to craft makers and artisans in local communities and diverse suppliers. Collections are categorized by price and interest to make finding the perfect gift a cinch.

The festive season is a time for giving, so take some time to think about the people who have helped your business flourish. A Christmas gift doesn’t need to be extravagant or expensive. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

Want to learn more? Head to our website, or drop us an email

employees in office

Employees: How to find and keep them

Always be on the lookout for great employees

We’ve all heard the sales phrase: “Always be closing.” When it comes to finding good people, the adage is similar: “Always be looking.” As the previous two and a half years have proven, employee turnover can happen when you least expect it. In addition to finding good employees, keeping them is also a challenge. The key to overcoming these problems is to be proactive. Start adopting new routines in how you actively look for and retain great help right now.

Employees working
Employees work better when there is a sense of community

Here are three (3) great ways to find good people:

  • Network with local schools
  • Ask existing employees for referrals
  • Write a job description that attracts the right candidate

Network with local schools and universities

Many educational institutions have job placement programs or an online job board. By networking with local schools and building relationships with the school and staff, you can get to the top of their list as a referred and great place to work. Start by calling your local university or high school district and asking which schools offer job placement programs and where you can post opportunities for multiple locations at once. Most schools also have Facebook pages that you can follow and engage with in order to build rapport.

Ask existing employees for referrals

Asking your current staff for employee recommendations could be a fast and cost-effective way to find new candidates. It could turn out to be a good fit since your current employee is already familiar with your company and can quickly determine if their referral is qualified for the role. Simply begin by inquiring among your employees if they know of a candidate who meets the job criteria. Try incorporating a hiring incentive program. Keep these programs easy to understand and manage. It can be as simple as offering the referring employee a cash reward or gift card if you hire their recommended candidate. 

Write an effective job description

Most job descriptions start by listing out tasks and responsibilities. Instead, start the job description by introducing your company. Continue with why your small business is such a great place to work or what your company mission and team motto are. For example, “We’re a tight-knit team of hard workers who love helping customers get what they need.” It’s a subtle difference that can provide improved results.

Hanging on to great employees

Once you find great employees, how do you keep them? According to CNBC online, record turnover is mostly attributed to low pay, poor working conditions, and/or better benefits. The competition to retain great people can be intense. Here are a few ideas for keeping outstanding employees:

  • Make employees feel like part of the big picture
  • Reward stellar performance 
  • Communicate and be a good listener

Make employees feel like part of the bigger picture

Including your employees in your company’s goals is arguably one of the most overlooked tactics in retaining great people. Every person has a natural human desire to be part of something bigger. Fill your employees in on both your short- and long-term business goals. If the plan is to expand your team, create new products/services, or even sell, talk about your strategy, ask for input, and listen to suggestions. You might be surprised at the feedback you receive, and how positively influential that conversation can be.

Reward stellar performance

Create an incentive program to show employee appreciation that not only incentivizes but also builds a sense of team. If you have a few employees working together on one project, challenge them to beat deadlines, and reward them when they do. If you have multiple locations, have each location try to outwit the other in sales or a specific metric that makes sense for your business. Keep the programs easy to understand and challenging, but also fun to win!

Communicate and be a good listener

Being an effective communicator goes beyond simple chatting. It’s important to communicate your expectations early on and often so the employee knows exactly what to do and where they stand. Equally as important is listening. When a situation arises that needs to be addressed, give your employee a chance to talk through their process and their results. The root of the problem could ironically be miscommunication. Remain unwavering in always making time to communicate.

To alleviate the challenges of finding and keeping great employees, start laying down a solid foundation using the above practices. You will reap the rewards for years to come.

Let us know how we’re doing by sending an email to support@aircourieruk.com, and check out or website at www.aircourieruk.com. Our socials are constantly updated too @aircourieruk #itsbetterbyair #always

Your Guide to preparing for a successful Christmas Period

The festive season is fast approaching, and for small businesses, this is a great time to attract new customers. Our nation’s 5.5 million small businesses can expect a notable increase in sales for the Christmas season. According to a Finder research survey, they predicted that in the UK, we will spend approximately £25.6 billion. Each year provides one of the biggest opportunities for small businesses to earn sales and expand their client network. Here are a few quick tips to help prepare for a successful holiday season.

Check Your Digital Presence

If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, one of the best ways to prepare for the holidays is to build an online store. According to a recent study, 65% of consumers who shifted from in-person shopping to e-commerce will continue shopping more online. Building an online presence may sound daunting, but don’t panic. Easy-to-use platforms like Shopify and Wix provide step-by-step instructions for launching an e-commerce site.

If you already have a website, take some time to review your digital assets. Confirm that all of your verbiage and graphics are still accurate, links are correct, and prices and inventory are updated. Consider adding pop-up or banner ads to your website announcing any special offers you’ll have for the season.

Create a Special Incentive for Shoppers

The Christmas break is a big deal for local shoppers because, in addition to shopping for loved ones and showing support to their community, consumers often reap the benefits of scoring truly unique gifts while receiving special offers for shopping at local small businesses. Make sure your offer is easy to understand and enticing for your customers. Also, confirm you can deliver what you’re promising.

Here are a few ideas:

  • 15% off discount
  • Buy one, get one free
  • 10% off gift cards
  • 20% off your next purchase for returning customers
  • Free gift wrapping

Prepare Your Staff and Your Store

The festive season is a powerful time for small business owners because it can expose your company to new shoppers. Store appearance and customer service will play a large role in whether or not new customers become repeat buyers.

Take some time to tidy up. Make sure your floors, windows, and shelves are clean. Next, check your register area, if you have one, for anything that’s not needed and clear it away. You’ll also want to double-check your inventory to ensure you’re organized for the big day.

Talk to your staff and get them excited about the festivities by incorporating a fun team incentive. Assess their strengths and position them where they’re most comfortable. Recognising their strengths will make them more productive. For example, if you have someone who is excels on the phone, place that person primarily answering phones. Is one of your team members an expert in dealing with complaints? Put them on email complaints.

Reach Out to Surrounding Businesses

Connect with leaders in your community. They are likely already planning for a successful holiday season, so get involved. Learn how to partner with other businesses to promote your special offer(s) and increase traffic to your store. General Christmas marketing will encourage consumers to support businesses, but you can also help other businesses simultaneously.

As a business owner and consumer, the Christmas Season is a time for you to show your local community that you care about its small businesses. It’s a great time to connect with customers and strengthen your business relationships. Start planning new so you can celebrate the season with new customers and a holiday-season business network for the coming year.

Make sure you keep up with our socials HERE.
If you want to learn more, drop us an email, or check out our website. #itsbetterbyair #always

How to get your Small Business up and running

Starting a small business requires time, effort, and commitment. To make your small business dream a reality, arm yourself with a viable business plan, the right support, and resources. Here’s how to get started.

Decide on the Purpose of Your Company

You may already have a skill or expertise that could turn into a business. Take some time to think about what you want to do and how you can use your expertise to provide a service or product that solves a problem. It should be sustainable and exciting for both you and your potential clients. 

Create a Business Plan for Your Small Business

Once you have decided on an idea for your business, it’s time to devise a plan. A business plan is a blueprint outlining how your company will operate over time. Design your business plan knowing that you may have to adjust certain strategies and goals once you start.

The best way to do this is by starting with these simple steps:

  • Write your mission statement that describes what your company stands for and why it exists in the first place. This will help you create a business identity, attract potential employees, and develop culture and purpose that clients may notice.
  • Create a company description that includes its objective, size, location, and industry sector.
  • Perform market research that describes how the competitive landscape looks in your market.
  • Design a marketing strategy that explains how you’ll advertise your products or services (e.g., social media). Think about what you’ll need to pay for and, better yet, how you may be able to advertise for free.
  • Set measurable targets that are specific, attainable, and relevant before a specified time period ends. For example: By December 31st of this year, I will have 100 customers signed up for my monthly subscription service at $19 per month each (that would be a total of $1900).
  • Include a timeline that includes goals and milestones, such as when you want to open your doors, how much capital it will take to get there, and what additional expenses you’ll need to consider before opening up shop.
  • Create a budget. No matter how large or small it is. Your budget will help you keep track of all the money coming in and going out so that nothing falls through the cracks (and you don’t lose sight of what’s important). Creating this document ahead of time can also help prevent unnecessary stress later on down the road once everything gets moving.
Thank-you for supporting our small business.

Gather Feedback on Your Business Plan

You will most likely start gathering feedback from others as you write your business plan, but if you do not, at this point, you’ll want to lean into a set of trusted peers and friends to solicit their input. Pitching your business plan to a personal advisory board or friends and family can help determine if it will resonate with potential investors.

Make Your Vision a Reality

You’ve worked hard to start your business and put together a solid plan. Now it’s time to implement the plan and make your vision a reality. The best way to do this is by breaking out each section into actionable steps. You may want to enlist the help of other qualified individuals or, depending on your circumstances, choose to tackle it yourself. Regardless, stick to the plan; over time, you will chip away at each project.

Do Just One Thing: Take Action

The best way to ensure your business’ progress is to take action. Never let fear stop you from pursuing your dreams and goals. It can sometimes be overwhelming, but starting a small business can be rewarding with the right approach, plan and mindset.

Want to book or just know more? Drop us an email on – support@aircourieruk.com or check out our website here.
Make sure to keep an eye on our socials too – @aircourier

Give back

Why Small Businesses Give Back in 2022

Owning a small business gives owners a unique opportunity to give back to their communities. In fact, charitable giving from companies has increased 2.7% over unprecedented 2020 levels. Post pandemic philanthropy is growing due to high interest in corporate responsibility as well as a social desire to support causes companies believe in. It’s an exciting trend for small business owners to explore if they are looking to make a difference in their community.

Give Back to your community
Give back to your community!

When You Give, You Receive

Small business owners might be apprehensive about donating to charity, not because they don’t want to help but because they are worried it will negatively affect the bottom line. However, you might be surprised to learn that it can have the reverse effect. Contributing to a charitable cause will help your business more than you think.

The Benefits of Giving Back

The number one benefit to giving back is opportunity. First and foremost, by giving back, you will receive the opportunity to make an impact on a cause that’s important to you and your community. Contributions may go beyond influencing your local area to affect a global issue. Others in your community will also receive the chance to contribute through your company when they may not have had the opportunity without it. 

The option to give back to your community will organically grow your network. You will meet new local leaders, neighbors, and business owners, and with that, you will attract new customers. Building relationships may lead to increasing the number of advocates for your business. The growth of your network will lead to increased profits.

Expanding your heart and bottom line are just two of the many benefits of giving back. Research shows that employees who volunteer are happier. Aligning your small business with a charity can boost employee morale and improve company culture. Leveling up morale and culture often leads to attracting top talent. 

How Do I Choose Where to Donate?

It makes sense for small business owners to find a local organization tied to the community. You may also want to choose a smaller charity as those can sometimes get lost in the shuffle when larger corporations are looking to donate. You could opt for a national charity but make sure it has a local program that you can connect and work with. 

Choose a cause based on your company values, and be thoughtful when making a choice. Spend time researching organizations and talking to other small business owners about how they give back. Remember, your contribution will affect you and your business, so the cause should be one that you understand and are passionate about.  

Ways to Give Back

There are plenty of options in how your business can give back. As with choosing a charity, you will want to spend a little time thinking about the best way for your company to give back. This could vary from getting your employees involved to donating products and services. You could also offer discounts to people within the organization or even host an event to raise funds.

What we’re doing

For example, here at Air Courier International we are committed to giving back to the community. Over the years we have supported a number of charities and we will continue year on year. We found different ways to raise money, with our staff often getting involved. We also run giveaways across our socials to say thank-you to our followers and customers. These have included incredible hampers, hotel spa and dining vouchers, luxury food goods amongst other fantastic gifts. 

The British Heart foundation is very close to all of us and we have supported them intermittently throughout the years. Most recently one of our team ran a 10km in which they raised over £1200 for the worthy charity. Every few years we donate the money for Christmas gifts to our customers to a worthy charity and most recently we donated a large sum to Age UK. We also support smaller charities by getting involved in different ways.

Air Courier donated food parcels to ‘Driven Forward’, whose original purpose was to provide food and transport for the extremely vulnerable. Since the start of the pandemic the need for their support has increased dramatically. Another member of staff has been volunteering at Bracknell Foodbank which is nationwide concept to help the local community. We also featured an interview with the team there in our newsletter to help bring in donations.

Our aim is to continue to donate to charities all around the country that are trying to tackle the real issues that we face. We will keep you informed across our socials, and if you have any questions regarding any of our charities, please drop us an email charities@aircourieruk.com.

There’s No Wrong Way to Give Back

When you choose a charity and a method that aligns with your small business assets and values, there is no wrong way to give back. Investing in a local charity is an investment in your community and your business. You will create an impact, build connections and feel gratitude with those around you.

Want to make a booking or learn more? Click HERE.
@aircourierint

An SEO Cheat Sheet for Small Businesses

According to recent research, three-quarters of small business owners know what search engine optimization (SEO) best practices are despite the lack of SEO use for many small businesses. The pandemic reinforced the need for companies to maintain an online presence and incorporating an SEO strategy into your marketing plans will help your business get more attention. Solid SEO plans allow small businesses to gain visibility, bring in new customers and make their products and services more accessible.

SEO blocks
SEO

Building an SEO strategy is relatively no to low cost. While you can hire an external company to research and implement your SEO, you can also instill good SEO practices on your own. It will take a little “sweat equity” but the reward is well worth it. 

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and simply stated, it is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when users search for products or services related to your business via a search engine like Google.

Think of search engine optimization as the process of placing little red flags on the internet to alert Google (and other search engines) of your business. Once you have its attention, Google will push those flagged areas through its algorithm to determine if you meet three (3) specific requirements. Whether or not your site meets the criteria will influence if and where your small business ends up in the search query. Let’s discover the three (3) requirements.

Crawlability

The first key area of SEO is “crawlability.” Search engines are all about user experience because they want people who perform online searches to use their search engine loyally. Your website needs to make it easy on Google to find and “crawl” it. Crawlability describes how easy it is for a search engine to find and crawl the content on a web page. If a website is free from slow-loading files and broken links, then search engines can crawl it quickly and easily to assess how relevant it is to a specific search.

Crawlability Checklist:

  • Check your site’s speed using a free tool like PageSpeed Insights
  • Regularly check your site’s internal link structure to ensure there are no broken links
  • Internally link your web pages to one another 

Relevancy

Secondly, your website should be relevant to the search terms. You can increase your relevance by using keywords and keyword phrases. The process of researching keywords involves searching for popular terms your potential customers search for on search engines. Keyword research can not only optimize your website, but it can also enhance your content strategy and larger marketing strategies.

Relevancy Checklist:

  • Make a list of relevant and important topics based on your business
  • Use tools like SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool or Ubersuggest to see ranking and choose your keywords
  • Include your keywords strategically throughout your site’s content

Credibility

The final key area to consider to improve your SEO is credibility. Search engines want to see that your business is legitimate and reputable. The best way to do this is with customer reviews and testimonials. Another way to boost your authority is to be referred by other businesses on their websites. Take that one step further with inbound links, which are references to your company that include a link to your website. Inbound links are powerful because they build credibility and are the primary way that Google discovers new companies and web pages.

Credibility Checklist:

Maintain and gain momentum

Utilize the above checklists to kick off your SEO strategy. Once you’ve made the initial optimizations, you’ll start to see changes in search results. It can take a few weeks or sometimes longer for the algorithms to catch up to your improvements, but once they do, you will notice an uptick in online traffic and new customer acquisition. Good luck! 

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Queen Elizabeth II: Tributes from around the world

As the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death spreads, tributes, commemorations and homages to her Majesty are happening around the world. We know the Queen was a travel icon, having visited 117 different countries throughout her reign, so it comes as no surprise to see an outpouring of love come in from every corner of the world. As the country waits for details of the Queen’s funeral, we take a look at 20 tributes to the Queen around the world.

Buckingham Palace tribute to the queen

Crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace the day after the Queen’s death, as well-wishers and mourners leave floral tributes and take photographs.

Gunfire for the Queen

At dusk on 9 September 2022, soldiers fire a 96-gun salute to honour the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II in Canberra, Australia. 

Queen in Tokyo

In the Akihabara district of Tokyo, giant screens broadcast the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. 

Mourners lay flowers outside of Buckingham Palace following the announcement.

Dubai to the queen

On the South Beach in Durban, South Africa, a sand sculptor finishes a commemorative carving dedicated to the Queen.

The queen in Leicester Square

On the large TV screens in London’s Piccadilly Circus, a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II is displayed on the first day of national mourning.

Screens of the queen in Balmoral

Images of the late Queen are being shown on screens at bus stops around the UK. This one is on Princes Street in Edinburgh in front of The Balmoral Hotel. 

The queen in Zimbabwe

At the Zimbabwe National Art Gallery in Harare, a commemorative portrait of Queen Elizabeth is mounted on the wall.

New Zealand pay their respects

In Wellington, New Zealand, gun salutes are fired to mark the news.

Wales shows the queen's face

A digital advertisement board shows a picture of the Queen, broadcasting the news to people in Cardiff, Wales. 

Leicester Square cinema

In London’s Leicester Square, The Prince Charles Cinema displays a “Thank You For Last 70 Years” tribute notice on the first day of public mourning.

NFL pays tribute

During the AFL Second Semi-Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions players observe a minute’s silence in memory of the Queen, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.

Far and wide

Memorials and commemorations such as this one in Manila, Philippines, are being set up around the world.

Balmoral

Outside Balmoral Castle, where the Queen passed away on 8 September 2022, people gather to pay their respects and lay flowers.

Windsor castle stand for the queen

On the first day of national mourning, wardens stand outside the gates of Windsor Castle.

Sydney hears the news of the passing of the queen

As the news reaches Australia, an image of the Queen is projected onto the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House.

France mourns

In Paris, a portrait of the Queen hangs outside the British embassy. 

queen flys the flag half mast

The national flag is being flown at half-mast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to commemorate the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

We thank the Queen for her service.

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