Just to let you know how things will be progressing from here on in...
I have pretty much single handidly created over 16 years my retail site, forum of 10 years, classifieds and blog pages. Whilst I am proud of what I have managed to put together it is pretty obvious that it all looks pretty home grown. In this day and age I know how important it is to have an online "branding", something which gives confidence the moment a new visitor visits - and frankly something that mirrors the quality of service that is provided. So with this in mind I have got a team involved who have promised to help me do exactly this.
Really all I am talking about is the "shell" - nothing will actually be changing but hopefully you will find everything more navigable, cleaner, and more seamless between the various aspects of my service. It should just be so much more polished!
My product catalogue will reside once again on the guitars.co.uk domain and "Guitars" will be my new online brand - moving away from "Richards Guitars" which creates uncertainty when people then visit my forum and classifieds at the moment IE Are they the same entity or not?. Guitars.co.uk will become the hub for my real time online advice, retail sales, forum, classifieds and blog pages rather than have things split between 2 sites.
I will keep richardsguitars.co.uk but the content will be relatively static, showing opening times, retail information and my Twitter posts which are relevant to in store news etc. IE richardsguitars.co.uk will be more the "local" aspect with guitars.co.uk representing my European/Worldwide mail order services.
I have NO intention of developing new brands. The brands I currently promote are very personal to me and I made a promise to myself 3 years ago to be the best I could be, promoting brands which I feel are relevant. My focus is to achieve strong World wide sales for Burny, Cort, G&L, Stonebridge and Godin guitars. If I can achieve this I will be as busy as I will ever want to be whilst maintaining a uniquely personal approach to pre and post sale service.
Of course my used guitar sales are also equally important and an area I am keen to continue developing under my new online "guitars" brand. Every used guitar I am responsible for selling is meticulously hand finished and setup beautifully.
Anyone visiting guitars.co.uk for the first time will immediately sense the quality, professionalism, expertise, experience and total dedication that I strive to provide my customers. There will be less emphasis on the "Richards" and more on the "guitars" although my history and credentials will be available for anyone who wants to know more about this dedicated guitars site and how it has come into existence.
For me as a niche market specialist to exist there is a very important balance between building online sales which afford my overheads to trade and provide the dedicated service to my local customer base. Since moving to Stratford Upon Avon my sales both online and in store have continued to grow despite tough economic conditions. This new website should help strengthen those sales whilst providing an online branding that looks equally as impressive as the dedicated service that lies beneath it!
Well thats the update - don't say I don't keep you in the loop and I really hope you like and benefit from these ongoing developments.