Helping small business online 💪
The friendly digital team behind 100's of small businesses.
We design and build great websites, offer free digital support and provide hosting and maintenance for Wordpress. We also love coffee ☕️.
No catch. Just friendly advice.
Things we're good at 🚀
Stuff that we help SMEs with...
Website DesignWe design great websites suitable for a variety of platforms to suit your business and budget.
Website DevelopmentWe build bespoke websites based on your needs, taking your small business to the next level.
Wordpress SupportWe offer fully managed Wordpress maintenance and hosting packages with 24/7 support.
24/7 Wordpress Support
Wordpress is one of the biggest platforms to build on, powering over 43% of the world's websites 🤯. With lots of them being smaller businesses, it made sense to build a dedicated hosting and support platform. The first site we ever built was on Wordpress, and we struggled to keep up with the management. Hosting, Maintenance and 24/7 Support at your fingertips, and cheaper than our daily coffee.
Things we love doing 👌
Always a pleasure, never a chore...
Conversion OptimisationWe create conversion-first landing pages to get you more sign-ups, leads and paying customers.
Digital SupportWe created a free digital support platform, to help you access the tools you need when you need them.
Drinking CoffeeWe never underestimate the power of a morning coffee. Our local, Jim Beans, kick starts our day.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Super-charge your sign-ups
One big play utilised by most of "them" (you know the ones we mean) is utilising landing pages. Rather than sending paid ads to your Homepage, you can send them to a unique landing page that has one sole purpose - getting you that lead, sign-up or paying customer. It will improve your conversion rate by 30% in the blink of an eye 👀
Super-powered Small Business
Delivering the most suitable digital tools
We won't put you in a box 📦 (or in a corner, baby). We will only offer you services and tools we think will help, based on our experience as small business owners. We also won't claim to always get it right, but you can be sure we will work our little bums off to help you succeed. If nothing more, please join our email list (it's over 10,000 now) for digital tips and guidance or book a call. We can't wait to meet you :)
Now we're blushing ☺️
Some of the gems we work with...
"Darren just gets it. We have championed independent businesses for years, and it's so refreshing to find people in the digital industry that share our ethos."
Sarah Hamilton - Just a card
"Locally UK have been a fantastic team to work with over the last 2 years. We could not fault the service and hope to continue working with them in the future."
Jeff Moody - British Independent Retailers Association
Meet the Founders 👋
We said Founders, not Fockers 🎬
Darren Townsend - Founder & CEO
Champions small business 🏆, undiagnosed OCD, Dad of two beautiful boys.
Charlie Townsend - Founder & Director
Background in banking 👎, patience of a saint, Mum of two beautiful boys.
Helping small business shine 🤩
A short story about us...
Having run small retail businesses for over 20 years, it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with "the big boys". They had access to digital tools that generated new customers for fun and made their lives easier - and we simply felt lost. We were frustrated, so decided to... read on, it's a thriller
The small digital team behind 100's of independent businesses.
Join us on our journey to make the big tech companies work harder for the not so big. We're building a pretty great community.
Well, Hello there! 👋
"Hi ✌️. I'm Darren - Founder and CEO of Locally UK. I really appreciate you taking the time to look at our little company. Like you, we're just a small team trying to do good things, so it's great that you stopped by :)We would love to hear about you and your team. Let us grab a few details and then see if we can get a call booked in. If you're local(ish), it's coffee on us! ☕️
We don't spam. If we can't help, you won't hear from us. No bombardment of annoying sales emails :)
A very young Darren at his first business
Having run small retail businesses for over 20 years, it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with "the big boys". They had access to digital tools that generated new customers for fun and made their lives easier - and we simply felt lost 🧭. We were frustrated, so decided to do something about it.We took our business online - and that opened up a whole new can of worms. While we picked up new customers, people who said they had never heard of us before, it was a whole new skill set that none of our team really had. We soon realised it was just as difficult getting people to our website as it was through the front door. Hmmmm....
So, there were a good few independent businesses around us, all struggling with the same issues. What if we could combine all these small businesses to become a super-powered beast 🧸(or something close)? We hatched (do beasts hatch?) a plan to build an independent marketplace - where small businesses could trade in unison online and get the exposure they so rightly deserved. Behold...... The Big Small Shop.Tragic name looking back 🤦. We thought "do your big shop, with small shops", but people would say "big little shop", "little big shop". Anyway, when the pandemic broke in 2020, the name really didn't matter. We had been trading a few months so were well poised to keep small businesses open during lockdown. There was nothing more rewarding than knowing our little idea was supporting so many local businesses and the community.
The Big Small Shop was born
Locally UK goes national
The only place to get toilet paper and pasta? The Big Small Shop - and all from local businesses. Small businesses rallied for their communities during lockdown, and were finally getting the recognition they deserved 💪. We were chuffed to be a part of it. Our little Wordpress website, built by one local guy, was causing a stir. From a tech side however, it was struggling, and we had no idea what we were doing. We were literally flying by the seat of our pants 🩲. We had to learn quickly, and were lucky that we found some super talented people that shared our ethos, and wanted to help.On came the rebrand - we were now Locally UK. A new custom website. A revived purpose.
With Locally UK now in full swing, and able to handle the technical pressure, we met the wonderful Sarah Hamilton - founder of the Just a Card campaign. This campaign aligned with us perfectly. Sarah had been shouting from the rooftops about the importance of supporting local, independent businesses for years - and we knew we had to work with them. We sponsored the Just a Card Indie Week campaign - a colourful alternative to Black Friday (the original alternative campaign 😉) and continued to gain exposure for small businesses across the country."Hi, this is Lexy from The Guardian...." - yeah right. Call me back. And she did (turns out it was legit, not just some scam caller). We couldn't believe it! The Guardian wanted to write a piece on Locally UK 🤯. And they ran it.
Neartoo - we now did tech?!?
The article featured a quote from Andrew Goodacre - CEO of The British Independent Retailers Association. He said they were looking at creating a similar platform for their 4,000+ members. S**T. Was our first thought. They had the scale to blow us out of the water. But what if (and it was a big IF, we were just a little company that started on the bedside table 😳) we could work with them to build it? A quick message to Andrew on LinkedIn to tell him a bit about us, and not only did he respond, but he put us in touch with Jeff - the Commercial Director of BIRA (these guys had been supporting independent businesses for over 100 years. The association, not the people). We had a great chat with Jeff, who asked us to send him a proposal. We were pitching against global tech giants to build the platform 🌍. We didn't just run an independent marketplace anymore - we were a tech team!
We did it. We actually did it 🎉. Within a few hours of sending our proposal, Jeff was on the phone to discuss the project in more detail, and over the next few months we created Neartoo - the UK's largest independent directory with over 350,000 businesses.We could now design, build, optimise and support in a way we never anticipated when we launched The Big Small Shop. And it was by sticking to our roots that made it all possible - so that is how we intend to continue.We are happily small tech ✌️. No Venture Capital or investors. We are customer funded and proudly bootstrapped - so we only answer to you (and the kids, obviously). Tech is so valuable to small business owners, but we know better than most that it's daunting as hell, too. Fear not, Locally UK is here 🦸
We are happily small tech
Wow - you stuck it out till the end 😅