The Three Main Benefits Of Setting Up Your Business In Leeds

If you’re looking to open a local business in the United Kingdom, then there’s no shortage of cities to choose from. However, you should set up your local business in Leeds (ok, i know that i am biased!).  Here are the top benefits of setting up your local business in Leeds.

1. Transportation System- As a local business owner, you want customers to have easy access to your business, regardless of where they are coming from. Leeds has an amazing transportation system, which makes it easy for people to get around Leeds and for people to get into Leeds City Centre, if they are arriving from the outskirts of the city. It’s worth mentioning that over 90,000 people visit the Leeds railway station on a daily basis, and many visitors choose to stay in Leeds for an extended period of time so they can eat, shop and walk around the city.

2. Prime Location- With so many people visiting Leeds on a daily basis, it’s safe to say that there are many prime locations for your local business. It doesn’t matter if you want to open up a factory, retail store, restaurants or anything else, you should have no problems finding the ideal location. If you want to set up a retail business or a restaurant type business, then you are in luck because there’s many properties you can rent that are ideal. You will love the choices you have when it comes to locations in Leeds, but make sure you take the time to view as many properties as you can.

Leeds Business District

3. The Universities- Leeds is home to three major universities and thousands upon thousands of students attend those universities, which means you should do business there, especially if your prospective customers fall within the age group that attends university. Also, since Leeds has a number of universities, it is a very diverse city when it comes to population, and this can benefit your local business.

If you set up a business in Leeds, then you are bound to get customers from all walks of life and that come from all types of cultural backgrounds. I know of businesses personally which are purely run on students who live in the city and surrounding areas; bars, takeaways, cake makers and taxi firms to name just a few.

There is no better time to set up a business than now. What you should do now is start looking for areas in Leeds that will be a good fit for your business and implement a plan of action. The sooner you set your business up in Leeds, the sooner you can reap all of the benefits that come along with it.

Check out my business reviews for some of the startup companies in Leeds that are already thriving.

Why You Should Spend Your Money Right Here in Leeds

Buying local represents an investment in the community, whether it one in which you reside on a full-time basis, or supporting the economy of your favorite getaway destination. Wherever you may find yourself, an effort to seek out local business for your scaffolding rental needs sustains more than individual communities. It supports the world.

Why Not to Buy Nationally or Multinationally– Publicly traded companies answer only to shareholders

When shopping locally, especially for scaffolding rental or other heavy equipment, you can be sure the client occupies our highest interest, not a stock quote in a server room half a world away. Likewise, local decision-making doesn’t need to rely as heavily on the bottom line, and can be flexible, when it comes to making an investment in the community it supports.

Community Growth

Local businesses select and purchase materials from other local or nearby businesses, and develop relationships over long periods of time, ensuring quality in your scaffolding rental from the molecular level on up. An especially important piece of the buying local puzzle comes after the project. Utilizing local vendors builds an equity and trust that cannot be cultivated from an outside company with no interest in the community for which it provides.

The Impact of National Chain Stores

Denying local commerce has disastrous consequences. We’ve all heard the stories in the states of how Walmart does business.  They set up a store in a small sized town and drive the local business owners out by offering customers considerably lower prices.  While they do bring jobs with them, they are entry level salaries with very few full time jobs.  Once the local shop owners are gone then the Walmart store closes forcing residents to travel to a nearby town to do their shopping, and it leaves hundreds out of work.  Here is a look at how that works.

While Walmart itself isn’t part of the Leeds business community, Asda is.  Huge national chains have their place but they shouldn’t replace local businesses.  The local builder, shop owner and hair salon are all a part of the local economy and the money they make stays right here in Leeds rather than lining the pockets of rich London business owners.

The small markets that bind us together in humanity are among the greatest gifts in life. Shop locally. Meet a shopowner. Frequent a new store. Find the neighbor you never knew you had. Even if it costs a few pence more.

Do You Really Need A Website To Promote Your Leeds Business?

The Importance of Having a Website

The simple answer is…. Hell Yes! End of article…. Just Kidding 🙂

The digital world is growing at an alarming rate (for old school technophobes like me anyway!), a website is a must-have for most businesses, regardless of the size. Look at it this way, if you don’t have a website, you’re probably losing customers, when you really need to be finding them.

The internet has a much wider reach than any other form of advertising, yeah that includes the Thompsons Local (am i the only one who still has one?). Although it takes a while to build up some traction in terms of traffic to your website, in the long run, it’s the best way to move forward.

There are several things you can do with a website, that will to help you accomplish some pretty amazing things, thanks to different marketing strategies Digital Media companies use. Evolve Digital Media is just one of them. These guys produce cutting edge web design and development, and everything is carried out in-house. My wife’s friend used these for setting up her beauty and boutique shop’s website. You can visit their site here: https://www.evolvedigitalmedia.co.uk/

Getting a website setup costs very little and your website can play a central role of your company’s online presence.

Increasing your company’s visibility is one major factor that makes having a website so important. Look at it this way, even if people have heard about your company, they may still want to carry out online research at first from the comfort of their homes before making any commitments.

Websites are a great way of selling your services in Leeds and they can also provide maps to your company’s premises, making it easier for visitors do physically find you.

Having a well-designed website gives your business the opportunity to tell your customers or potential customers why they should put their trust in you, and testimonials and other factors can help to reinforce the decision-making process.

Most people these days will search through the internet for a product or service before parting with hard earned cash, and that’s a fact.

When you are providing goods or services and you’re doing it well, word of mouth advertising for your business is likely to increase. When this is coupled with a well-designed and well thought out website, this gives your organisation more credibility and a bigger impression that lasts.

Web Design

Your visitors may see you as being bigger than you actually are, and this can only be a positive thing. This is one of the great reasons of having a website because the actual size of your company does not matter anymore. The internet allows for a level playing field and if you do things correctly, you can compete directly with the bigger outfits.

Websites are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your customers can visit your site at any time and read up on your new products or services or special offers that you want to put out there.

Websites are extremely valuable because unlike traditional retail premises, they are always open for business. If you run an online retail store, there are no opening and closing hours, and you don’t need a dozen staff to run your operation.

There are a growing number of web design agencies in Leeds, but only a handful of them really stand out.

The bottom line is that it has become imperative for almost every business to have a website today. The more professional your website looks, the more advantages you can have.

Fancy advertising your website on here? Click here.

Getting an Underfloor Heating System Installed

As you may know from a previous post, i recently moved into a new house. In my old house i had previously experimented with an electric underfloor system as oppose to a radiator. Bad Move! I found the electric system to be slow to heat, un-economical and a liability (more about that later).

I went for an electric underfloor heating system as i was planning on installing a fabulous high spec, white laminate floor in my upstairs “Man Cave”. So i needed a system that was low level and could be fitted on top of the existing floorboards without raising the level of the floor too much.

The electric system was easy to fit, done by me and a friend of mine in less than an hour. We tested it prior to installing the laminate and everything seemed to be working great. However as soon as we laid the laminate floor over it, it would take over five minutes before we could feel any heat coming through it. Even then it did not feel particular warm.

Over the next few days i played around with the digital thermostat, gradually setting it higher and higher to see how warm the room would get. It turned out that i needed to set it to over 90F to get the room temperature up to anything like comfortable (105F on really cold winter days). As you can imagine, this was starting to make my electric bills spike.

The final nail in the coffin for me using the electric underfloor heating actually came when my family spent a weekend away from home. I walked back into my room on the Monday morning after a trip to the seaside, only to be hit by a wall of heat as soon as i opened the door.

I knew for a fact that the underfloor heating had been turned off before we left and was stunned to find that the digital thermostat was reading 115F. It came to light later than day, that while we were away that weekend, there had been numerous power cuts on our street due to the electricity company doing some “maintenance work”. It seems that when the power had been restored at the mains, that something had been tripped on the thermostat and caused it to turn on. I had no idea how long it had been on for but i can assure you that my next electricity bill was even uglier than usual!

So this time around when i was considering getting an underfloor heating system, i decided to try a water underfloor heating system. I found a company who supplied these systems in Leeds with a quick online search. The company are called WarmFloors and are actually based in Bradford.

installing wet underfloor system

The rooms i wanted underfloor heating in this time were the kitchen and dining rooms, that we were renovating from scratch. With it being a ground floor installation this time, i knew that i was not just restricted to electric underfloor heating and i had heard that wet underfloor heatings systems are even more cost effective than radiators.

The installation was done by WarmFloors in both rooms in just over a day and a half. First they laid the pipes and connected it to too the new heat pump. Then a layer of liquid screen was poured over the pipes to create a level surface for the new tiles we were going to be installing.

I found the team at WarmFloors to be very knowledgeable, courteous and efficient in their installation process and would definitely recommend them to anyone wanting a underfloor heating system in Yorkshire. You can vist their website here: https://www.underfloorheatingservice.co.uk/

We have now got our new tiles down and are impressed with both how warm the floor gets and also how well the whole floor is covered with no cold spots.

Underfloor heating Tiled floor

 

 

 

 

 

Just note that with this type of underfloor heating system, they usually recommend that you wait around two weeks for the screed to fully dry out before you fit your new flooring.

 

Jag Wall Coatings

After reading a variety of articles explaining the benefits of wall coating, as well as seeing the visual improvements it can make to a property, I was eager to give it a go myself. I purchased a roller and a couple tins of paint and began searching through tutorial videos on Youtube to see what I could find. Armed with my tools and freshly acquired knowledge, I stepped outside and after trying relentlessly for a few hours, it was evident that I would need some more help.

After a quick search for Wall Coatings in Leeds and a few phone calls, I received a well-priced estimate from a staff member at Jag Wall Coatings and we arranged a date for their visit. A few days later they turned up on time and completed the job without any fuss.  They had an impressive selection of colours to choose from – I went for Sky Blue which makes my property look great. I am very pleased with the finished product and have received a handful of compliments on how much better my home looks with the fresh layer of paint.

Besides looking good, the wall coating service offers a bunch of other benefits to your property:

  • Mould and Algae resistant– A good wall coating is breathable and stops penetrating damp, which stops water damage and the development of algae.
  • Plenty of colours– As mentioned, there are a huge variety of colours and finishes available from most wall coating companies, allowing you to pick one that perfectly suits your home.
  • Covers cracks– Removes horrid blemishes and cracks on the exterior of your house. Also adds a protective layer to help prevent further damage.
  • Adds value to your property– Due to all of the benefits, adding an additional coating to your home can prove to be a very worthy investment, allowing you to add value to your home without breaking the bank.

Jag also offer an Exterior Wall Rendering service which is best suited to walls that have large cracks, blown render or damp issues. They use a GRC Polymer Render (Glass reinforced) for maximum durability and protection throughout the year.

Man applying wall coating

Before making the same mistake as me and trying to paint the entire of your property by yourself, I would definitely recommend getting a quote from a professional wall coating company. It is far less expensive than people tend to think and it saves countless hours of headache.

My experience with Jag Wall Coatings was amazing and I couldn’t find a fault in their service. The staff members were very friendly and answered all the questions I had before any work was started. They did a superb job of coating my home and managed to keep within my tight budget.

If you would like to see more about their wall coating services or receive a free estimate, you can do so on their website: https://www.jagwallcoatings.co.uk/or call their Leeds based headquarters on 0800 0438891.

Roof Replacements, General Repairs and Maintenance

If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of a leaking roof, you’ll understand that getting it repaired QUICKLY is pretty much the only thing on your mind until it’s fixed. When I woke up to a rather large puddle of water in my upstairs bathroom, I knew that I would have to find an emergency roofer located in Leeds. Normally I would put this sort of thing off for a few days and pray for sunshine, but a few buckets wouldn’t have been able to hold the rain coming through the roof.

This was the first time I had ever needed to get in touch with a roofing contractor and I had no idea how much this repair would end up costing. After a few searches I came across a couple numbers and decided to give SDK Roofing Ltd a ring. They started by asking me a few general questions about my roof, which I assume were to make sure that it wouldn’t collapse while they travelled over. Following the phone call, 2 roofers from SDK showed up at my house within the hour! They took a quick look and gave me a quote before beginning any of the repair work. Thankfully, the price was very fair and wasn’t close to what some online forums were speculating. I gave them the go ahead and almost instantly began to feel relieved, knowing that my roof was in the hands of professionals.

Re Pointing Roof

The repair was done perfectly and didn’t take long at all. I was also told that my roof repair was fully guaranteed so if anything should happen, I can give them a call and it will be sorted as soon as possible. I was very impressed with the service that SDK Roofing Ltd provided and they will definitely be my first port of call whenever I need any form of maintenance for my roof.

They also provide a full roof replacement service, which is a great way of adding value and bringing your property back to life. SDK offer 2 different types of roofing – Slate and Tile. Slate adds a more natural finish to your property, which tile tends to better suit modern homes and conservatories.

SDK Roofing Limited of Leeds have over 12 years of combined experience as a roofing contractor in leeds behind them and can work on virtually any roof related project (For both residential and commercial customers). For more information on any of their services, to see more customer reviews or to start work on your own project, you can visit their website: https://www.sdkroofingltd.co.uk/or use the following number: 01138 056616.

Thanks to Andy Wood in Leeds for this business review.

Using A Leeds Removals Company

Well this is the first business review i have done in a while. I seem to have had a number of poor services provided to me lately by local businesses. People that know me, know that i don’t like to write a bad review on poor quality services. The company in question may just have been having a bad day and i feel that writing really bad reviews online can really damage a companies reputation. We are not in the business of hurting local businesses here (if it was a national company then we would!)

Anyways….

I recently moved house here in Leeds, not very far, literally just over five miles in distance from the old house to the new property. I had been very busy in the build up to the move and i literally was struggling to pack everything my self. So when i decided to look for a removals company to shift my stuff, i was delighted to see that a lot of companies offered a packing and unpacking service.

In the end after much price shopping, i decided on Leeds removal company Eton Jones. They were one of the companies which offered the packing services but were still reasonably priced.

Furniture being moved

I moved on a Saturday and the owner Chris and three of his team turned up twenty minutes early on the morning with a ridiculous amount of large brown boxes and parcel tape!

They then proceeded to pack all my smaller stuff, which i have stacked almost ceiling high in the lounge for the next couple of hours. This was then followed by all the furniture which had been stored in the dinning room, being secured into the back of their large truck. I was impressed by the amount of care  which was taken when loading this onto the truck. The staff at Eton Jones did not seem to be in a rush and were more interested in making sure that everything was stacked neatly.

Finally, all the boxes that had been packed were then slotted around the furniture and everything was secured in place with bungee cords.

I went off at this point for an hour or so to get the keys for the new house from the estate agents and made my way over to the new house. By the time i got to the house, the guys had already unpacked all the boxes from the truck onto the driveway and were ready to take them in the house.

Each box was then taken to the relevant room of the house, where the guys unpacked everything onto the floor. All the boxes were then taken back to the truck. This was great because i did not have to start thinking about what stuff was in what box, everything was neatly laid out on the floor. Also i was not left with a load of boxes to get rid of!

Finally, all the large furniture items were brought it the house and placed exactly where i wanted. Again, the guys were exceptionally careful when moving the furniture off the truck and into the house.

I definitely would recommend the packing and unpacking service to anyone getting a removals company in to help them with a house move. It definitely takes a lot of hassle out of what is usually a stressful experience.

Eton Jones Leeds Removal Company

In regard to Eton Jones, i would recommend them highly. They were prompt, well organised, friendly and took exceptional care with everything they did.

For more information on their services or to book them for your own removals job, you can visit their website here: https://www.etonjones.com

Seven Years after a tragedy – Wind Buffers are finally installed around Bridgewater Place

So after many years of procrastination, i see that the wind buffers have finally been installed around bridgewater Place.

Grove Inn Leeds

I used to work in an office around the corner from there and i can tell you for a fact that, it was incredibly hazardardous trying to walk to the tesco express shop in the building when there was any kind of wind.

One day I was walking along between the Grove Inn and the ramp leading up to Tesco and i was literally lifted up off my feet and thrown a meter to the side.

I have seen people hanging on to the railings for dear life as they tried to negotiate the ten foot wide alleyway between the Grove and the side of Bridgewater Place (pictured above).

The plans for wind Baffles were originally put in place for combating the widespread tunnel in 2014, after the death of Edward Slaney, a pedestrian from Sowerby Bridge, who was killed in 2011 after being crushed by a truck that had been blown off its wheels near Bridgewater Place.

When this first happened, a councillor from Leeds City Councils executive members for regeneration scheme, Richard Lewis, said:

“As a council we are clear that the danger posed by this building to the public is unacceptable and we have tirelessly pushed for nothing less than the best possible solution to this situation.

“We did not wait for the owners to act on their responsibilities but continued to put pressure on them while we set about working with leading wind experts to tackle these issues. While doing so we also addressed the junction’s safety through installation of barriers and railings, along with closures in times of high winds.”

So nearly seven years later they are finally in place. What i want to know is, have they actually made any difference?

I am also interested to know who footed the bill for all this? If you have any information on any of this, please comment below. Obviously, we have just had some really bad weather over the last few weeks and i think we could get some good appraisals of the scheme from people who walk around there regularly.

Leeds Search Engine Optimisation Companies

Just over 3 months ago i was checking the traffic statistics of this website as it had been online for over six months. I was a little disappointed to find that the number of visits to the site had not really increased from the first couple of months when i initially set it up.

Pratt's Information Store - Leeds News and Business Reviews

I had seen a couple of traffic spikes, most notably in June, when i spent quite a lot of time promoting it on social media like Facebook and Twitter. I was really hoping to see over 500 unique visitors a month to the site, but on average i was seeing just 250-350 a month.

I decided to seek some professional assistance from an SEO Expert. Search Engine Optimisation is working at both the on page and off page ranking factors to make your website more prominent in online searches.

The first place i looked for an SEO company to help me out was……… on Google of course! I thought, surely if these companies can rank for “seo leeds”, then they should not have any trouble ranking my website. I searched for that term and was surprised with what i saw……..

Most of the companies on the first page of Google, were not actually Leeds Companies but companies with their head offices registered in London. You know my website is all about promoting local businesses and helping the economy of Leeds grow. Why would i want to pay money to a London company rather than an actual Leeds based business?

I searched other different terms such as “leeds seo experts” and found a few companies that were actually local businesses. One of these SEO agencies was called Brand That Name and after a nice long chat in the Victoria Quarter (at Harvey Nic’s cafe no less) with the company owner Chris Scott, i decided to use them.

Brand That Name

Over the next week they asked me what keywords i would like to rank for and how much traffic was i wanting my site to get each month. After i had given them the information, they came back to me with tailored package over a three month period, payable on a monthly basis.

The results are in……….

Traffic as you can see from the counter on the right hand side of this page, is up drastically over the last three months. In September alone we got over 1000 unique visitors to this site!

Brand That Name have done a great job in getting most of the keywords i wanted to target, to the first page of Google. I am particularly impressed by the fact that as of today 28 October 2017, we rank both 1st and 2nd for one of our main targeted search terms “local business reviews leeds”

Top Ranking positions in Google Pratt's Store

 

As you can guess, i would highly recommend Chris and Brand That Name to anyone wanting to rank a Leeds related website. They were highly professional, delivered great results and were great to chat with over the last few months. Their SEO package was cheaper than i originally expected after my initial consultation, as i had quite a limited budget and i was not wanting to commit to a long term contract.

You can get in touch with them by clicking here

How would Leeds Having a Premier League Team Help the Cities Economy?

2004 was a grim year for Leeds United and the city of Leeds in general……….

The relegation of our team to the Championship signalled the start of thirteen years of despair for our fans as we hit the bottom of League One for the first time in our history.

It was also the platform for shyster’s, crook’s and general lunatic’s to take charge of us for their own monetary gain, ego boost or both.

From a fans point of view it was gutting to get relegated but unfortunately it had wider reaching consequences to the City of Leeds as a whole. I am talking about it’s effect on the local economy.

Although there have been far to few studies done on the correlation between having a successful Premier League team and the local economy, it is obvious that the two go hand in hand.

This BBC article about Reading FC’s promotion from 2013 states:

“There’s no doubt Premier League football has put Reading on the map, not just in the UK but worldwide. It’s free advertising for us on a level which we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise and that helps companies here make global deals and bring inward investment.

“All sectors of the economy here benefit. We have large corporations like Microsoft and the deals they generate help feed smaller to medium-sized companies. The Premier League has to be part of the sales pitch for businesses in our area.”

I know from personal experience that Leeds United success, especially in European competitions, has put the city on the map. A few years ago, i was asked by a local on a small island just off the coast of Thailand, where i was from and i said Leeds, the first thing he said was; “Ahhh Leeds United, yes?”

An in depth study done by Cardiff University looking at Swansea’s promotion in 2011 found the following:

The Premier League football generated £58m to the local economy, which included an estimated 400 jobs. Its report suggested that while the majority of the economic value was created directly by the football club, most of the jobs created and safeguarded were from ‘non-footballing’ activity.

Fast forwarding now to 2017…………..

Andrea Radrizzani’s full takeover of Leeds United in May 2017 has brought a feel good factor back to the city of Leeds. Him buying back the clubs stadium and home, Elland road, along with investments in the team and ground have helped to create a buzz around the city.

Radrizzani is now working  with Leeds City Council to develop the land they own for a new training ground in the centre. Read more here Leeds City Council know that a successful Leeds United will bring more money into the local economy.

As both a fan and someone who is interested in the continued growth of our city, i hope 2017 goes down in history as the year Leeds United were promoted back to the Premier League after over a decade in the doldrums!

 

Leeds To Create Its Very Own Version Of New York’s High Line

I have recently heard some fantastic news about our city…….We are going to get a High Line, like New York City!

The disused Holbeck Viaduct (pictured above) is going to be transformed into a sky park with it’s arches beneath being developed into bars and restaurants. The development, named the “Holbeck Viaduct Project”, will also include 307 newly built homes and landscaping of the entire surrounding area.

Holbeck Viaduct as it currently looks

The 1.7km of old railway track that has been disused since the 1960s, will provide panoramic views of Leeds City Centre and its creators hope that it will help to transform the local community in Holbeck.

 

The whole project was inspired by High Line Park in New York City and Leeds Councillor Asghar Khan,  has quoted: “It will be like welcoming a bit of New York in Leeds.”

What is The High Line?

Created on an elevated section of disused New York Railroad, is the 2.34km long High Line Park, New York City. This now famous arial greenway project was created between 2006 – 2016 in three stages and stretches from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street. It continues to see exciting new additions to this day.

The major attraction of this New York Project is down to its elevation. You can get a unique look at the rest of the city by hopping on it in seconds, using the steps or elevators provided to take a look around or enjoy a scenic walk.

There is nothing more magical than the High Line in New York because of its aesthetic appeal and how it engrosses the city. You will be left mesmerized, and that is why it continues to be a big part of the city’s ethos. This is a unique attraction that has been built with a high level of care and continues to woo people around the city. 

The View of a New York Resident

Built along the historic freight rail line it was set up with the premise of creating something powerful and unique, while making the most of a historic freight rail line at the same time.

 

Picture By Beyond My KenOwn work, GFDL, Link

The Line is spread through various areas of New York, whether you are looking to get to Chelsea Market or to another part of town, you will be able to by the High Line. This is what makes it such a fantastic addition to the city.

Many different parts of the High Line are memorable and well-regarded for their mesmerising beauty, these include the passages around Chelsea Market, Northern Spur Preserve, and 14th Street. This is what makes the High Line special in the heart of New York because it has that historic touch people look for in a major city such as this.

The Holbeck Viaduct Project

I hope that the Holbeck project will have a similar outcome, as this run down area of Leeds is definitely in need of regeneration. Below are some artists impressions of what it should look like when it is complete and below that is a video including a stunning arial view of the viaduct:

Arches under Holbeck Highline

How The Holbeck Highline will look when complete

For more information on the project visit the official site here.

To have your say on the project go here.