60 seconds with Paul Beare, Marketing manager for Kevin Beare & Co.
Paul is Marketing Manager for Kevin Beare & Co. The firm have recently had a fresh upgrade to their site as part of their transition to Landscape. They focus on helping overseas companies invest in the Uk and rely heavily on their site to portray them to the world, as it’s a first port of call for potential clients looking at doing business in the UK.
Kevin Beare & Co refers to itself as International Accountants – what do you mean by that?
The bulk of our client base is UK subsidiaries of corporate multi-national companies. We are proud to be seen by our clients as, not only a trusted advisor for the UK – but a first point of contact for any plans for growth within Europe. Many have been with us for many years (Inc. 10 years). Through experience and understanding of our client’s operations and their intent to grow, we are able to work with them and help them invest in the UK.
That’s a lot a activity to fit into one website… how have you managed it?
To be honest, we (gladly) let PracticeWEB carefully guide us as to where most of the content should be placed for optimum navigation. I took my own “pet-hates” and encompassed these in the design phase. There is nothing I dislike more than scanning a site, struggling to see contact details on every page, or finding easy answers to my questions or clear data when I need it.
How do you see your website working for your business?
Very simply – when a prospective client says they’ve looked at over 20 other sites, and that “yours was by far the best” the site must be doing something right. In the era of web 2.0 and shortly entering 3.0, any prospective client will always search the web and see what information exists, whether it’s a provider or the client publishing it...someone is always watching you. The capability of Landscape to us as a firm is huge. It is instrumental to any potential investor to the UK.
How do you use your blog to communicate with your customers?
I prefer the term ‘stakeholders'. Anyone with an interest in the sectors that we operate in. Whether it’s your English-man who, after living in France for 15 years wants to move back home, or Silicon Valley IT Company wanting to invest in the UK starting with a team of 5. Blogging and other social platforms are vital to communicate externally (and internally in some cases). It helps largely from a natural search engine optimisation perspective also.
Do you Tweet? What’s your view on social networking?
Yes– as often as we can. Someone will find what you say interesting...but not all! It’s just as important to see what people are saying about a business as it is about ours. If you get it right, you can ‘speak’ through LinkedIn, the blog and twitter and of course the website...all at the same time or with different messages. Just make sure you spell check everything before you publish! However, it is important to remember everyone is human.
There are different ways of conducting business in different countries – what is the strangest custom you’ve come across? Any embarrassing stories?
When in Hong Kong I was cautious of exchanging business cards and reading each word of print meticulously to follow the local tradition. The Chinese man I was meeting was very westernised and didn’t even bother to read mine, but he did give me his in the “presentation” style. A few years ago, I never thought I would be conscious of how I hand someone a business card. It always helps when you ‘localise’ yourself.
It sounds like you travel a lot - what’s your favourite place?
London. It’s nice to go away, but it definitely is nice to be home!