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Danielle Holmes

Danielle Holmes of Black Nova Designs is sharing how December has been for her business!

Yesterday was Christmas Day and businesses around the UK are still on their festive break. December is normally a time where small business owners take stock of the year and make their plans for the New Year.

Today we're talking to Danielle Holmes who is Sales and Marketing Director at Black Nova Designs, a web design and hosting company based in Calne, Wiltshire.

What does December mean for your business?
We are often pretty quiet over the festive period; all our staff have kids and family so where possible we allow them more time off and project work pauses for a little bit. If Kyle and I are in the office together we do work on internal processes and plan the growth and development for the business.

Give us a flavour of your highlights of 2023.
Gosh, there are so many to choose from:

  • It was our second year exhibiting at Badminton Horse Trials,
  • We sponsored the Horse and Hound annual awards for the first time - huge deal for me as a horse lover!
  • We’re proud to be hosting our friends at See No Bounds’ websites,
  • We created over 30 new websites for clients and took on nearly 40 new hosting clients – although we did have a 100 target for hosting so there's’ still space to grow that!

Would you like to thank anyone who has been especially helpful to you throughout this year?
This year has been full of ups and downs but luckily, we have some incredible friends in business that keep us grounded: Jasmine Punter, Tara Best, Charlotte and Jamie from See No Bounds, Fiona Scott, Samantha Jayne and Taz Thornton to name but a few. I have to thank my husband and business co-owner Kyle too - we rely on each other so much and we are incredibly grateful for everything we’ve created and all the people who’ve helped us get here.

Have you done anything for charity or your community this year?
This year we donated loads of used tech hardware to be recycled instead of it ending up in landfill, which aligns really well with our going green initiative. In the same vein we adopt a coral via Coral Guardian every month and our offices are fully powered by solar panels. We’ll be upping our charity work next year and I look forward to being able to share more details about that very soon.

Christmas was, of course, big news in December. What does this mean for you?
We’re incredibly lucky to have taken our children to Australia for Christmas and New Year, so it’s certainly going to be different for us this year! I’ve been soaking up the ‘winter wonderland’ side of the festivities here in the UK before we jet off for a beach and BBQ Christmas for the first time.

December 3 was Small Business Saturday in the UK. Can you name up to three local independent ‘retail’ businesses you would recommend using?
My husband Kyle might call me a professional shopper (and is probably right!) so it’s been tricky to choose just three retail brands to share. I decided to pick three product based indie brands who we have helped with their websites. We get to dig into what makes a brand tick when we build a website for them, so I hope you love them as much as I do! They are Gallop and Glee, Cheshire Bath Boutique and Toomers Country Store.

December 20 was the Festival of Winter Walks. Do you love any walks in your own community that you could recommend?
We’re so lucky to be based in Wiltshire where we have an abundance of amazing walks and it’s hard to pick just one (story of my life it seems). We love the circular walk around Hackpen Hill that takes in some of Barbury Castle Country Park. Avebury is another favourite spot, and we enjoy walking around Devizes and stopping into some pubs along the way!

Are you doing any kind of special offer or package in December that you’d like to mention?
We have lots of space for hosting, so if you already have a website that you love, why not move it to our servers? We’re a family company with UK-based support and our hosting is fast, secure, and powered by renewable energy!

What has been your proudest personal moment in 2023?
For me personally, it’s got to have been being a sponsor for the Horse and Hound awards. I’ve read this magazine since I was a child so seeing our little company logo up there with the big boys and top riders at the awards evening was incredible.

If you could choose three words to sum up 2023, what would they be and why?
I would choose resilience, growth and change.

This year has had many highs but to be realistic not every day is a good day, we’ve had some real lows too. More business clients than ever have closed their doors this year as costs rise, cashflow is hard and sometimes it feels like business is a fight to keep going. Plus, we’re always juggling looking after the family and other dramas that come with life, so it's not always easy. But with a good mindset, the occasional meltdown and lots of personal development, we keep going and learn from each day.

For more information visit https://blacknovadesigns.co.uk

Black Nova Designs

Black Nova Designs

Black Nova Designs is a professional, affordable, I.T. company.

Redman Road, Porte Marsh Ind Est , Calne, Wiltshire, SN11 9PL

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

Scott Media

Scott Media is run by a UK-based journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the media - print, radio and television.

6 Gold View, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8GZ

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