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Caroline Bailey – Questions and Answers, 2nd April 2013

Why start YourEly?

I feel passionately about Ely as a city and its unique character. I was brought up here and I love its shops and buzzing high street and want to see this preserved for future generations to also enjoy. Ely is a great city to live and work in and for many years my clients at Spa ely said that they would like a community group, which would serve as a business forum too. YourEly provides a platform, which enables this.

 How did you start YourEly?

There is a lot of talk about government funding for start-ups and this is where I initially looked for funding for YourEly. I approached funding bodies, as well as the local council, but they all replied saying that there was no support for this type of project. I decided not to give up and took out a personal loan through my bank to fund this venture.

How do you think YourEly will help the community?

They will have a singular community forum where they can find out about their city, YourEly wants to create a strong group that is positive about the future of Ely, with businesses that understand the needs of their customer and are united. Businesses will be able to engage with the community on lots of topics; it is vital that they understand and respect their clients’ views.  An ‘open’ sign is not enough today; businesses have to engage with their customers on their terms and not forget that they are the client!

Why not have a business listing?

I carried out vast research within the community which showed that the majority did not want a discount or random business listing forum, they wanted a forum that would showcase the best of what Ely has to offer and the diversity of all of our unique businesses. The business listings that exist display businesses but lack community following thus making them ineffective. YourEly is much more than a listing service as it provides proactive social media interaction too, and this is vital for businesses today, which have to adapt to survive. YourEly will use its website, Twitter and Facebook to inform the community about promotions available and events planned by its business members, and I am delighted with the terrific support already. We have two sections for businesses - the independents and the micro businesses. We also have a website page for Good Causes.

Who is involved in YourEly?

A team of highly skilled professionals is working with me to promote businesses that sign up and to support community members. I feel strongly that Ely deserves to have something of this quality with staff that are the best in their field. When a business is set up, it has a marketing / advertising budget for promotion such as we are offering. YourEly requires the businesses to pay a small subscription, which pays for its highly professional staff that are all fully committed to Ely and its future.

What is the future for YourEly?

Our concept is brand new and independently funded. YourEly is focused on being positive and hardworking for our city! We will listen to both the YourEly community and the business members ensuring that they get the best. The launch of the website is only just a couple of weeks away, we are so excited about the huge support that we have had so far! What a great start!