Company news: Wishing Kim luck as she heads off on maternity, and introducing Izzie!

Our company is having a little change over due to Kim Debling leaving for maternity. She is expected to return early November this year. We wish her luck with her first child!

company handover

Kestrel Design has secured the help of Izzie Kirkpatrick, who will be taking over all the website accounts until at least Kim’s return. Izzie will be doing any maintenance work, plus completing the newer websites under our care.

Izzie is proficient at 3d modelling, WordPress, HTML, xHTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, PL/SQL, C#, C++ and a host of other languages. She is also very quickly learning other skills that will help her make complex changes such as WordPress back-end theme & plugin creation.

She’s been introduced and trained in all the software and programs that Kestrel uses to create our unique, elegant and customer-winning websites. This, of course, means that her work will always be responsive, accessible, mobile-friendly and Search Engine Optimised, plus she is able to produce websites containing complex additions such as shops, forums, and advanced forms.

Izzie has also shown a remarkable natural talent for aesthetics and graphic design, creating some gorgeous website mockups for us to appraise her talents. We hope to add examples of her work to the company portfolios soon.

We’ve connected with other graphic designers to be able to continue to provide non-website services – please, therefore, continue to get in touch with us via the form on the Kestrel Design homepage for all your design work.

Brand Continuity across Departmental Fields

We have new logo for Kestrel Handmade! Does it look familiar?

The Kestrel handmade logo is based entirely on the Kestrel design logo. This isn’t because we’re lazy, it’s because brand continuity is vitally important between disparate aspects of a company.

Many companies have several departments doing different things which have slowly morphed into looking like different companies under an umbrella conglomerate! Many of these companies then go through a rebranding process to bring the company back to a unified ‘look’.

Why have the overarching look amongst what might seem separate fields? Here are some advantages:

  • Show your true colours, and your true size.
  • Customers loyal to your brand in one field will consider you in another
  • Departments share knowledge more freely as the ‘team’ is bigger
  • No more remembering what name you are calling yourself in meetings and correspondence
  • Share brand identity letterheads and templates

And here are the disadvantages to consider:

  • Customers who dislike one field in your brand then associate that with another.
  • You might feel less able to take an ‘experiment’ sideline as it might do badly and damage your reputation
  • You want to seem like a smaller company

Interest Free Payments

Kestrel Design very often offers interest free payment. We are fortunate to be in a position to be able to offer this service and we think its a great way to take payment for so many reasons.

We think it helps:

  • customers to accept your quote
  • your money flow
  • their money flow
  • customers come back for repeat custom
  • to not knock your customer’s new company down before it has a chance to establish itself
  • establish trust and regular communication

One thing we did have trouble with is how to accept regular payments without having to ask our customers to remember every week or month. We discovered that we can use Paypal’s subscription payment system to do so. Heres how:

Log in to PayPal and click ‘Merchant Services’

Interest Free Credit via Paypal

Click ‘Create payment buttons for your website’

Interest Free Credit via Paypal

Click ‘Create button now’

Interest Free Credit via Paypal

Unless you’re taking only 4 payments in total (where you should select ‘Instalment Plan’), select ‘Subscriptions’

Interest Free Credit via Paypal

Fill in what the customer is paying for, the payment currency and the amount per cycle

Interest Free Credit via Paypal

Further down the page fill in how often and how many cycles. If the customer needs to pay £2300 in £100 per month instalments then put ‘£100’, ‘1’ ‘month(s)’ and for how many cycles put ’23’. Select your primary email address unless you’ve set up a secure account for your website and want to use that one, and finally click ‘Create Button’

Interest Free Credit via Paypal

 

On the code page scroll down and select the ‘Email’ tab.

Interest Free Credit via Paypal

Then select the code and copy it. Put that code into your email. It is a link and when the customer clicks it, they will be taken to a Paypal payment page. After they fill in their Paypal details they will be automatically billed for the right number of payments, then the billing will stop.

Interest Free Credit via Paypal

 

I hope this is useful to some people. The pictures were accurate December 2013; if you are reading this post in the future please understand that it is very likely that Paypal will have changed their layout and possibly services!

Good Old Fashioned Trading

Sometimes us small businesses should help each other out!

We got into a discussion with photographer Marsha Cooper recently, about how to price our services. We told her if we worked for £20 per hour for the hours that we want to work full time we’d get the salary we want and need. So when we price our jobs we figure how long the job will take and quote accordingly. As we really loved her work we asked if she’d do some bespoke photography for Kestrel.

She used her specialist photography timing equipment and skills to capture a Kestrel pin badge as it splashed into water. She also timed herself so that she’d know how much to charge a similar job in the future. We paid her in kind by producing a logo and custom stationary.

Working with other small companies gives so many advantages:

  • An actual real-life customer to work with
  • Work to put into the portfolio
  • Experience
  • Neither of you have had to spend money!
  • A professional friend/networking
  • Professional goods and services in return

If you are lucky enough to work with other companies like us, always consider if you can trade products or services as the ultimate win-win situation.

We’re hoping Marsha will have a website soon (perhaps even by us!) but she’s currently moving home to another country! We’ll update this post when she’s ready to take on commissions.

 

We’ll leave you with her beautiful photos where she has managed to make it look like our Kestrel is playing in the water:

Marsha Cooper Photography

Marsha Cooper Photography

Marsha Cooper Photography

Marsha Cooper Photography

Marsha Cooper Photography

and here is the logo we paid her with

Marsha Cooper Photography