A Shrewsbury based web-development and IT company is celebrating this week - along with their client, who successfully received funding on Dragons Den.
The new website received over 60,000 hits within the first 30 minutes after the pitch by The Raw Chocolate Company on this week’s episode - and the site stayed online and live during this surge, thanks to the planning and implementation of The Web Orchard team.
The Web Orchard built a Drupal 7 website allowing The Raw Chocolate Company to fully promote their product range, fully manage products and content ‘behind the scenes’.
Kris McGowan Customer Insight Manager said "It was great working with Pete and his team. We were really up against it and they put all their resources into getting the website ready and functional on time. The Dragons Den team said we would not be able to keep the website running due to shear volume of hits, but the WebOrchard team did it brilliantly. We couldn't be happier."
The Raw Chocolate Company received £72,000 in funding from entrepreneur Deborah Meadon.
Pete White of The Web Orchard said “This has been a fantastic week all round. It’s been great for our client who have received the financial backing of Deborah Meadon and TV exposure - but also superb for The Web Orchard, demonstrating our professional ability to create truly winning website designs with top quality technical assistance and planning.”
For more information on The Raw Chocolate Company and to visit their new website: www.therawchocolatecompany.com For The Web Orchard and an overview of their portfolio and services: www.theweborchard.com
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As technology has advanced over the past decade or so, we have found that we are turning to our computers or the internet more and more for entertainment. Whilst some may see this as a bad thing, it isn't necessarily the case. Studies show that we still have a good online/physical balance in our lives, especially with the revival of sports such as running and crossfit style activities in the gym.
Playing games online is a good pastime and can help to keep the brain active and plays a role in being able to have a break. This can be especially important for people who work from home or those who may find it hard to switch off after a hard day at work. Some games can even test your intelligence in the form of puzzles or even more complex games where you have to work out a way to get out of a situation either through conversation, building or solving complex problems. All these activities strengthen the brain and help with memory.
As far as enjoyment goes then there's plenty online to keep you going. From kids dress up games, maths problems, role playing games and more. There's also casino and gambling style games that can be played by adults right in the comfort of their own home. Instead of having to go out in inclement weather or find a babysitter you can play bingo or poker from your sofa or desk in your own cozy surroundings.
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A family business is very special. There may come a time when all of the hard work that your family has put into the business may lead to a desire for expansion. There are many ways to expand a business – here are a few to consider when considering the next step in the future of your family business:
If you find customers driving from far and wide to come to your business, or you find a location that is not served by a business in your sector, you might choose to own and run another location entirely within your family structure or you may choose to offer franchise opportunities to other entrepreneurs. A franchise can be lucrative because you get additional revenue and someone else deals with the majority of the business management. Many people want to get into the world of business, but don't want to take on the risk of establishing their own brand.
The importance of projections and a solid business plan and
No matter what type of investor you want to attract to your family business, you will need to prove to them that you have what it takes to take your business to the next level. This is harder if your business has not been around for very long. A solid business plan that looks at every possible outcome can go a long way towards attracting investors to the expansion of your hopes and dreams. You will need to know every aspect of your plan so that you can answer even the toughest questions that potential investors might ask before deciding if they want to commit to your company or not.
Investment holding companies
Investment holding companies are firms that draw from a wide pool of investors. Charterhouse for example owns portions of many different small companies. This investment strategy can give small businesses the quick capital they need to expand or upgrade their operations. It can sometimes be easier to get funding from an investment holding company; since they draw from a large pool of individual investors, the overall risk of the investment on their part is minimized. This makes it far more palatable to make the choice to invest in smaller firms with limited reach. Charterhouse invests in businesses in many different sectors, which further decreases risk to its investors while helping companies expand and achieve phenomenal success. The Deb Group acquired by Charterhouse Capital Partners is an example of a company that has significantly expanded their reach since their acquisition by Charterhouse. They produce a variety of high quality skincare products with applications across a variety of sectors.
There are some people who have extra funds that are interested in privately investing in small companies. Some of these “angel investors” have formed their own investment groups to keep their portfolios well managed and provide a process for those seeking this type of investor. Angel investors may offer more limited funds than large investment holding companies, simply because they are individuals or smaller groups.
Detroit is a once-proud city that has reinvented itself again and again. A former fort and stop on the fur-trapping route between the Northern U.S. and Canada, it has boomed with the rise of the auto industry, given the world the Motown Sound and persevered in the face of adversity time and again. Now it's time for Detroit to gather itself up and
The rise of technology and globalization have led to the decline of manufacturing, the trend of outsourcing and a perpetually depressed economy that have hit industrialized cities in the American heartland especially hard; Detroit is being held up as a prime example of the consequences of white flight, neglect, political mismanagement, and urban blight and decay. The problem is one part political, one part social and 100 percent a sign of the times.
A Plan for the City
The first things that need to be addressed are the problems of clientellism, transparency and fiscal mismanagement and accountability in both the public and private sectors. Once the process of streamlining and modernizing record keeping within the city departments is implemented, city leadership must begin a concerted campaign to regain the trust of their constituents, both in word and deed, by giving citizens a real voice in the direction the city will take and in where their taxes are spent.
Another step to making residents feel truly invested in what happens in their community is to introduce or recapitalize programs that encourage a sense of ownership among residents and businesses, old and new. Properly managed jobs and urban revitalization programs are a start, but other incentive like tax breaks for businesses that relocate and hire within the community, more robust incentives for real property investment and rehabilitation - such as encouraging municipalities to participate in programs like the 425 agreement - and a residency requirement for city employees will give Detroiters and their neighbors a greater sense of cohesiveness and a greater stake in the city's success.
You can already see signs of life emerging from the rusting hulk of the Motor City, with innovative start-ups and a burgeoning art and culinary scene downtown. Natives like Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans founder, and Dave Brandon, former CEO of Ann Arbor-based Dominoes Pizza, are examples of corporate entities with a talent for turning businesses around. Executives like Brandon and Gilbert, who relocated his company headquarters downtown, are leading the way.
It seems that the key to Detroit's reemergence lies the aftermath of its destruction. With well-crafted long- and short-term planning and a strong dose of Michigander determination, a newer, stronger Detroit will rise from the ashes.