In 2005, I was looking for a business to start in which my experience and expertise from 30 years in the corporate telecoms world would bring benefit to the company's clients. At first sight the world of providing internet services and products to SME may look far too crowded for serious consideration, but beneath the surface I found many essential client needs not being effectively met by existing suppliers (now Living Streams' competitors).
(1) Provided without content management systems (CMS) - forcing clients to purchase all content editing from the website supplier. All systems supplied by Living Streams are supplied with good CMS.
(2) Websites sold as search engine friendly - giving the false impression that they will automatically receive visitors from high ranking in natural search. Living Streams explains to all clients in laymans terms the difference between search engine ready and optimisation that will deliver high search ranking and hence visitors.
(3) Choice constrained by the capabilities of the company's employees. Living Streams has an outsourcing strategy for programmers, graphic design and copywriting: This enables it to pick systems and specialists to match each client's needs. Website platforms which can be supplied include a variety of open access systems (such as Joomla, Dot Net Nuke and Wordpress), portal systems such as Adobe's Business Catalyst and proprietary systems.
(1) service is sold for search terms which are rarely searched. Living Streams agrees target search phrases with clients based on likely website visits from high ranking
(2) achieved rank is the sole target - Living Streams targets and reports on ranking and consequent website visits
For medium sized companies, the management of their web presence should be part of their general strategy. A company's web presence is an important public face of the company it represents. It can impact branding, customer service, the cost of customer support and the effectiveness of offline marketing. The web can provide facilities which reduce a company's operational cost and efficiency. The company's reputation will nowadays often be reflected in the social media, which therefore needs to be monitored and managed.
It is therefore important that such company's web service providers are aware of their client's strategy and pro-actively provide relevant feedback. To effectively meet this requirement, the web service provider should ideally have extensive management expertise and experience. Many of Living Streams competitors do not meet this requirement, but Living Streams is led by someone with extensive managerial training / qualifications (MSc in management science and full member of th Chartered Institute of Management) and management experience (leading units with turnover of £20M+ p.a., up to 250 people).