Running a Rural Small Business

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1 Running a Rural Small Business Pleasures & Pitfalls By Tim Heaps of Blythweb Ltd

2 Career so far Civil Service after A levels 1975 Moved to Suffolk 1979 Bus/Coach and Tour Driver 12 years Market Research Interviewer for MORI & RSL 1994 Started Sirius Solutions Hardware 1997 Created Blythweb Ltd 2002 Blythweb Ltd bought Sirius Solutions 2004 opened present premises

3 How Blythweb Started Grew out of life long interest in computers Bought first computer 1989 First local website created in 1995 Created Southwold Website 1997 Created Halesworth Website 1999 Launched ADSL products early 2005

4 Blythweb Ltd Small IT Business: Two Directors One Employee One Subcontractor Five dedicated web & mail servers 300 Clients (295 within 20 miles) Provides IT one stop shop to Home and SOHO sectors

5 Who we are Tim Heaps: Director all technical work, website design, ADSL install. Eileen Heaps: Director Office Manager, Accounts, Proof Reader, Blythweb Calendar, Blythweb Links system Becky Canham: Assistant Routine tasks, minor website changes, printing work, basic hardware work. Roz Gordon: Sub-contractor: Advanced design and copywriting work as required

6 Where We Are Norwich 25 Miles Ipswich 25 Miles Lowestoft 15 Miles London 100 Miles Cambridge 80 Miles Wenhaston

7 What we do Build computers Repair computers Set up LANs (wired and cabled) LAN Cabling Broadband ISP Run local websites Create business websites

8 Websites Blythweb Group of Local Sites: Seven websites promoting the Blyth Valley and are solely funded by advertising. Bespoke Websites: Free standing websites for commercial clients. Community Websites: Low cost websites for local nonprofit clients.

9 Hardware Computers built to order. Computers repaired both in our workshop and at client s premises. Peripherals (printers, scanners etc) supplied and installed. Used computers refurbished (very little).

10 Broadband Reselling ADSL through Interdart. The only ISP who provides on-site support High standard of support Started in Jan 2004 NO churn! 40 clients and still signing up.

11 Clients Home Clients: People with PCs at home. SoHo: Clients either running businesses from home or spend some time working from home. SME: Small to Medium Enterprise. Fairly few of these but significant financial contribution. Voluntary Sector: A few of these but charged at low rates with a high pro-bono element.

12 Business Groups Halesworth Business Connections Federation of Small Businesses

13 Tourism Chairman of the newly formed Halesworth Tourism Group which is a stakeholder group set up within the auspices of the Waveney Tourism Forum itself a stakeholder group. Blythweb Ltd is committed to promoting Tourism to the Blyth Valley Concerns about current local Tourism Policy

14 Blyth Valley View

15 The Blyth Valley The river Blyth rises near Laxfield and flows approx 12 miles to the sea between Southwold and Walberswick. Border between Suffolk Coastal District and Waveney District areas. Area is effectively remote from all local centres (Ipswich, Norwich and Lowestoft).

16 Halesworth

17 Halesworth Principal Market Town within the Blyth Valley Population approx 5,000 (4,637 in 2001) Growth Area for Tourism Significant 21b funding in Major centre for the Arts

18 Southwold

19 Southwold Effectively built on an island between the River Blyth, Buss Creek and the Sea. Development has been heavily restricted and this has created an Edwardian Time Warp which is valued by its many visitors. Population is about 1,500 although 2,500 live in the adjoining village of Reydon. Honey Pot very busy in summer.

20 Walberswick

21 Walberswick Small village across the river from Southwold. Small permanent population. Large occasional population. Honey Pot.

22 Wenhaston

23 Wenhaston Village of 850 population built on rising ground between Halesworth and Southwold. Some weekending and some visitors. Good community with a wide range of community groups and good community identity. No shop, part time Post Office, School

24 Pleasures

25 Pleasures Independence

26 Pleasures Help people and businesses do what they want

27 Pleasures Get out and about in beautiful countryside

28 Pleasures Contribute to Community

29 Pleasures Working with people who also value their surroundings

30 Pitfalls

31 Pitfalls Poor Infrastructure. Mobile phone reception limited. Poor broadband in some areas. Few clients in immediate area. Limited Transport Options. Reliant on cars. Power Cuts in bad weather. Flood Risks. Remote from policy makers.

32 Goodbye!

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