18th Dec 2007
Web design firm builds
on its street cred with London site
By MICHAEL BLACKLEY
A WEB design company
that created authoritative online guides to
some of the Capital's most popular areas has
expanded its operations to London.
Design launched the Royal-Mile.com site – which
lists every business in the historic thoroughfare
and includes links to their websites – in
the formula with The Grassmarket.com and Princes
Street.com and was approached by the George Street
Association to create a similar site.
Now the company
has launched its first site outside the Capital
with Beauchamp-Place.com, using the same formula
to promote one of London's most fashionable and
distinctive streets, which regularly attracts a
range of A-list celebrities.
the sites list all the businesses in each area
free, it charges £40 to firms that want
a link to their website put on the site. There
is also growth potential from possible profits
from other advertising space. The new site in
London is something of a coup for Marchmont-based
Gavin Bonnar, 41, who set up the business, which
he runs from home.
new Beauchamp Place site was set up in conjunction
with the Beauchamp Place Association (BPA) after
contact was made through Hamilton & Inches,
which has a branch in the street, as well as
Edinburgh's George Street. The BPA promotes the
site and encourages businesses to join and allow
the site to link to their own websites.
If Mr Bonnar
finds other retail groups that want a site dedicated
to particular streets in other parts of the UK,
he would consider employing a small team of staff
to administer the sites.
to get the Beauchamp Place site because it's one
of the most prestigious streets in London," he
he has linked up with the Beauchamp Place Association,
he said it was not even a problem he had never
before visited the street. He said: "The beauty
of the internet is that I can work from my house
in Marchmont and create a site for businesses in
main work is in setting up the site, but once
it's operational I only need to update it when
a new member wants a link or if something changes
on the street." A recent promotional drive
saw him send out postcards with images of the
Royal Mile on the front to businesses in the
street with the logo "wish you were here",
referring to the online community of businesses
he has created on its website.
The Royal Mile site already has
120 businesses paying for links to their websites,
and Mr Bonnar is hoping to get similar levels of
interest in the other sites.
turnover remains relatively small at around £4,000
per year, Mr Bonnar is confident he is now in
the position to expand his business rapidly.
If he gets
clients who are interested in similar sites for
other parts of the UK, he said he would consider
employing staff and running a small team to take
the business forward. "I
am hoping to keep this growing," he said. "It
started off small but I think there is real potential."