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Danielle Holmes with her husband Kyle

Danielle Holmes of Black Nova Designs has a busy month ahead!

It’s June already and we’re halfway through the year – it’s also officially the first month of
Summer which means that coming up is sunshine, holidays, and family time! June is also a busy time for businesses with lots of different events happening.

Today we're talking to Danielle Holmes who is a co-director at Black Nova which offers professional, affordable, I.T. solutions for business and domestic requirements. The company was founded in 2015 by husband-and-wife duo, Danielle and Kyle Holmes, with the aim of providing an affordable, high level of service to clients. Since the company’s inception, Black Nova Designs has realised rapid growth due to the quality of its services and products and is now a fully insured, Cyber Essentials accredited company.

JUNE is the first month of Summer – what will you be doing this summer in your business?
This summer we have a packed schedule of events, so the trade stand will be earning its keep! We’re off to Barbury Grassroots Horse Trials in July and the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe in August, as well as plenty of networking events. Our busy summer on the road coincides with the summer holidays, so it keeps us on our toes! Thankfully the team are amazing and most of us have families, so we pull together to get through and still offer our clients amazing service.

June 1 to 7 this year is Volunteers Week – do you volunteer at all? Do you raise money for charity?
We’re proud to have launched our ‘Going Green’ initiative this year, which is our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of the business. As a company that is involved in a large amount of data processing and uses data centres for our website hosting services, this has to be a priority for us and other companies in the tech sector. But we wanted to do more, and support sustainable charitable initiatives as well as tidying up our own green credentials.

Kyle and I got married on the beach and we’ve always felt a strong connection to the sea. The coast is somewhere we both feel happy and relaxed, and of course, our oceans are hugely important when it comes to the planet’s climate. That’s why we have partnered with Coral Guardian and ‘adopt’ one coral per month using a percentage of our monthly hosting profit. We can name the coral, and a certificate of adoption is sent to our office, so anyone who visits us can see the difference we are making!

We’re also a recycling centre for old tech hardware. That means that anyone with an old or broken computer, tablet or charging device can bring it to our office in Calne and drop it off for free, knowing that it will be safely recycled, and any remaining data destroyed. If laptops are still in good, usable condition, we wipe the data and give them a service before donating them to a local school for the children to use. Either way, the old tech is either recycled or reused instead of ending up in landfill!

June 30 is Social Media Day – what does social media mean to you and your business?
We use social media as a highly effective marketing tool for Black Nova Designs. In fact, it provides the highest ROI of any of the marketing channels we use! It enables us to share the benefits of working with us with prospective customers, update our existing customers on our news and share information about new services. Social media also allows people to get in touch with us and chat directly about their website needs, IT issues and so on. That means we can quickly either sign point them to how we can help or recommend another company if they need it.

There are two major downsides to social media, in my opinion, the first being that it can be easy to forget that most people share a very highly edited version of their life online. Whether that’s a friend posting about having fun and looking amazing every weekend or business contacts sharing success after success, we all know real life just isn;t like that, It’s a rollercoaster with so many ups and downs, and it’s important to remember social media isn’t an accurate reflection of other people’s lives. My second downside is how deliberately addictive social media is. The apps are designed to steal our attention and keep us on there for hours every day. I know how much it’s impacted my attention span and energy and I worry for young people who have only ever known life through a phone screen - such as my daughter. There’s nothing better than spending time with friends and family without everyone having a phone on them, so that’s a summer aim for us! 

Would you like to provide us with a summer ‘guide’ of your favourite places to visit locally?
For me, summer is all about spending a much time as possible outdoors and enjoying the warmer weather and light evenings as much as possible. We’re lucky to live and work in a great area of the country with plenty to do nearby. Here are my top five spots in our local area for getting some fresh air and time away from the screens this summer!

Bowood House and Grounds
Bowood is just down the road from our office in Calne and it’s well worth a visit if you’ve never been. It’s a Grade I listed Georgian country house that has been owned for more than 250 years by the Fitzmaurice family, and you can tour the house and the grounds. There’s an enormous lake and plenty of parkland too, so even if you’re not too fussed about the house it’s a lovely spot to sunbathe and relax.

Bath’s UNESCO World Heritage site
We’re so lucky to have such a beautiful city not too far away and a walk around Pulteney Bridge, the Circus and the Crescent is a lovely way to spend your spare time. There are also plenty of shops, as well as bars, cafes and restaurants galore.

North Wessex Downs and the Cranborne Chase
These are just two of our superb local areas for walking. I also run a dog daycare business (called Holmes for Paws) and that means I’m often boarding dogs over the weekends. For the dogs who are fit and able, a good walk does us all the world of good, and if we pack a picnic, it’s a cheap day out too.

Pub Lunching in the Cotswolds
If you can avoid the touristy spots, then there really isn’t anything quite like the Cotswolds in the summertime. A walk (and in my case, doing some house shopping in my head as I choose which of the chocolate box cottages I love most) before a nice pub lunch is an excellent way to spend the day.

A Day Out to Wells and Glastonbury
If you fancy heading a little further south and west then Glastonbury is worth a visit for the famous Glastonbury Tor, the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey and the quirky shops of its High Street. Nearby Wells is a lovely town and the location where they filmed ‘Hot Fuzz’ - so watch out for the swans.

 

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

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

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

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy
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