Issue #7 - Pleased to meet you 🤜🤛
In this issue... Who is Bionic? | Small business wisdom | End of the landline | How to build your business on Instagram | The curse of the golf course | And much more...
🦾 G O
We are Bionic
We’ve somehow managed to get all the way to Issue #7 without properly introducing ourselves.
It feels a bit like when you can never remember the name of that regular customer, but it’s gone way past the point where you can ask them (or anyone else) what they’re called.
But here we are…and we are Bionic. Business energy comparison with human experts.
Our aim is to help make running your business that little bit easier and to save you some money along the way.
We do this by taking care of your business essentials - those critical products and services that help keep your business running from day to day.
We compare energy, insurance, connectivity and finance to help you find the best deals for your business - saving you time and money. We take care of business comparison. You take care of business.
But we want to do more. We want to make sure you know about the latest tech that can help cut down admin and increase productivity. We want to offer useful tips on everything from making your business more eco-friendly to dealing with campers in your coffee shop.
And we want to give business owners like you a newsletter that does all this and more.
So, welcome to Issue #7 of The Backbone - the fortnightly business bulletin from Bionic.
✍ S U B S C R I B E
Pop your email address in the box below to get The Backbone straight to your inbox at around 1pm every other Friday 📨
🔥 H A S H T A G
#BIONICSMALLBIZSHOUTOUT - King and Eastland Upholsterers
You name it and, over the 38 years they’ve been in business together, master craftsmen Kevin Eastland and Alan King have covered it: contemporary three-piece suites to antique Chesterfields – with your odd classic car thrown in for good measure.
Bionic caught up with Kevin Eastland to discuss job satisfaction, customer happiness, and to get some sage advice on starting a business.
Bionic: What’s the most important thing to your business?
Kevin Eastland: “It’s really important that we’re proud of the work we’ve done. If I wouldn’t be happy with it in my own home, it won’t leave the workshop.”
Bionic: How do you ensure you’re doing a job you’re proud of?
KE: “The lines have to be straight and the patterns must match up. I annoy my wife sometimes looking through the Sunday supplements, pointing out pictures of sofas that look off.”
Bionic: What’s the best piece of advice you can give to a small business?
KE: “As any new business that starts out, knows: the customer is king or queen. They may not always be right, but that’s down to you to explain – and they’ll respect you for it if you do it nicely. We make a point of always delivering people’s furniture when we say we’re going to, and if there’s ever a problem with anything we’ve done, we’ll be round that afternoon or the next day at the latest.”
📤 S H A R E
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📰 N E W S
End of the line 📞
It’s hardly new news, but it might have slipped under your radar - the traditional landline will be no more from 2025.
This means that all UK landlines - both home and business - will be switched from the old analogue public switched telephone network (PSTN) to a fully digital network.
If your business uses ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), this will be getting switched too.
It also means that any non-voice services connected to your phone line will be switched as well, including alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, CCTV, and fax machines (does anyone still send faxes?).
There’s a lot to consider, so it’s best to start preparing sooner rather than later.
Why the big switch?
PTSN has been powering our phone calls for decades - we’re still making calls over copper cables that have been buried underground since the 19th century.
But technology is improving at break-neck speed and we’ve now got more ways than ever to keep in touch, including smartphones, apps, the cloud, video conferencing, and so on.
Copper cables just can’t cut it in the rapidly-changing world of comms.
What are the options?
If you’re planning on making landline calls after the 2025 cut-off, you’ll most likely end up using VoIP.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, but don’t let the complicated-sounding name put you off - it’s just a way to make phone calls over an internet connection instead of over a phone line.
If you’ve ever made a voice call using WhatsApp, Zoom or Teams, then you’ve already used a version of this technology.
VoIP systems also come with loads of additional features that either don’t come as standard or aren’t available on landlines, such as call divert, conference calls, cloud-based call logging and a virtual receptionist. VoIP also allows you to take calls and make calls from your landline number wherever you are. Ideal for remote working.
To find out more, check out the Bionic VoIP for business page.
If you’re feeling a bit sceptical about the whole thing, BT has put together this handy myth-buster - Ten myths about digital phone lines debunked.
📩 J O I N
We want to hear about you and your business 🗣
💡 How did you end up running your own business?
😟 As a business owner, what keeps you awake at night (assuming you ever get to bed)?
🤩 What’s your proudest achievement as a business owner?
🤔 What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
Leave a comment to get involved 👇
🤳 S O C I A L
How to build your business on Instagram 📸
Did you know…Instagram is second only to Facebook and home to 90% of the world’s biggest brands? Instagram where over 1 billion monthly users (or potential customers) hang out and interact with their favourite brands and businesses.
Here are some pointers we gave to Alison Savage of New Moon Holistic Therapies, when we helped her get set up on the platform.
DOWNLOAD THE APP…
If you haven’t already, download the app on your mobile or tablet.
Once you’re in, click sign up, enter your email, your username and password. There’s an art to this, so don’t rush it, read on...
…BOOST YOUR BIO
Your account name should be your business’s name – the same name you use on other social platforms, or as close to that name as possible.
Alison’s business name is New Moon Holistic Therapies on Facebook – but this wasn’t available on Instagram so she opted for @new_moonholistic
…NOW UPLOAD YOUR PROFILE PHOTO
In many cases, this should be your company logo. However, we also recommend using a professional portrait shot if you have a face-to-face, 1-on-1 business like Alison’s. After, all people buy from people. Particularly in the field of health and wellbeing.
…ADD YOUR WEBSITE OR FACEBOOK PAGE
This is the only area you can add a clickable URL on Insta, so make the most of it.
…WRITE A BRILLIANT BIO
This is where you grab your audience’s attention. Describe what you do and/or what you can do for them. *Tip: take a look at the profiles of others in your industry for ideas.
…CONVERT TO AN INSTAGRAM BUSINESS PROFILE
If you haven’t already, go ahead and convert to an Instagram business profile.
An Instagram Business profile gives you access to your analytics – the stats that tell you how many people have visited and interacted with your profile.
It also lets you add your location and business contact details so your customers can easily get in touch.
For more useful tips, check out 8 ways to build your small business on Instagram.
🤝🏻 T I P S
Golf can be bad for business 🏌️♂️
Unless you run a gardening firm, spending too much time on the golf course could be bad for business.
A study called FORE! An Analysis of CEO Shirking found that CEOs who play golf more frequently (at least 22 rounds a year) are more likely to head up underperforming firms. They’re also more likely to lose their jobs.
If 22 rounds a year sounds a lot, consider that CEOs in the top 10% of the sample play at least 37 times a year. Let’s say you can finish a round of golf in about four hours, that’s more than 160 hours on the course – or just over four weeks of work!
On the flip side, those CEOs towards the bottom end of the study recorded less than one round per year.
And then there was the one CEO who recorded 148 rounds in a year - just the 16 weeks of work time spent on the course!
Even accounting for these huge variances in tee time, the study found that CEOs average 15 rounds a year - or a week-and-a-half of work.
Although the data doesn’t prove that some CEOs are shirking their responsibilities, this much time spent away from work is consistent with the existence of shirking.
So, what can we take from this? Even though your hobbies and habits may offer some much-needed downtime, check that they aren’t bad for business before it’s too late.
📺 W A T C H
How to make the most of a side hustle
The Startup Van features short videos with some of the most talented, fun and influential people in the startup community and beyond! This episode gives a few pointers on how to make the most of a side-hustle while working full time.
🎧 L I S T E N
Crate Diggers Anonymous is a playlist that’s undefined by genre, so expect to find everything from vintage French rock to forgotten soul tracks and funky jazz.
Imagine one enormous room with a million virtual milk-crates filled with old LPs. Now relax and start digging...
The Last Archive is a show about the history of truth, and puts the spin of historical context on the culture of fake news and post-truth. Or lies, as they used to be known.
🏡 H O U S E K E E P I N G
Check your folders 📁
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Thanks again for getting involved, and please feel free to get your friends and colleagues on board, and send us any ideas for things you’d like to see us cover in The Backbone.
📊 B U S I N E S S
Get your business costs sorted.
Looking to cut your business costs, sort your insurance, or get your broadband up to speed? Bionic’s tech-enabled experts will help you find the right energy, insurance, broadband or loan providers and deals for your business - in minutes.
Check out our ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Trustpilot reviews
🚫 S T O P
Thanks for making it to the end of this Bionic bulletin 🤝🏻
That’s your lot for another fortnight, but please do let us know if there’s anything else we should be featuring - from inspirational stories to Spotify playlists, or anything in between. Just leave a comment and let us know.
And don’t forget to send this link to all your friends and get them to subscribe ✌🏻
See you in two weeks’ time, when we’ll all be allowed outside in groups of 30 and inside in groups of six. The new abnormal is nearly over.