Some good news for small business owners with a grant opportunity not to be missed.
Under the Government’s National Digital Strategy, the expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets. This measure was announced to help small Irish businesses to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak and take the opportunity to improve their online presence and sales.
So what is a Trading Online Voucher?
Under the new terms of the Trading Online Voucher, the grant scheme offers small businesses financial assistance of up to €2,500 with co-funding of 10% from the business to develop or enhance their ability to trade online.
By covering the cost by up to 90%, the scheme makes this investment very affordable and an opportunity not to be missed for many small businesses.
The second change to the grant scheme is that businesses who have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher to further improve their online trading capability.
What can the vouchers be used for?
The vouchers can be used for lots of different online activities to improve your online trading capability.
While the voucher is often used by companies for adding e-commerce or booking elements to their website, it can also be used for digital marketing strategy, ongoing SEO efforts, app development, digital training, etc.
For an investment of €250, combined with securing the LEO Online Trading Voucher grant, a sample breakdown of a programme of activity that Proactive can help you with includes:
Research / consultation
Proactive will undertake a full review of your business online to establish where the business is currently positioned. We will identify what the current and future opportunities are for the business online and consider them in line with current online business trends and industry changes.
The research will look at competitors, key trends, your business’s current online offering, advertising channels and social media activity. Where available, we will look at data from social and web traffic.
Digital strategy planning
In order to apply the information from our research and to set in place a plan to increase your business’s online performance, we will put together a digital marketing strategy which will identify your online goals and the objectives to be achieved.
Proactive will outline the strategies that will help to achieve these business goals.
Search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising the quality and quantity of leads that land on your website. It is a cost-effective approach to ensuring that your website naturally and organically ranks well.
Our SEO audit will provide actionable suggestions that will increase organic search traffic to your website. This audit includes keywords analysis, competitor analysis, page-level analysis, and content analysis.
Our technical SEO audit will help identify any technical issues that are detrimental to user experience and negatively affect your search engine performance.
Digital assets generation
To activate a digital strategy, digital assets are needed that reflect your brand and communicate the correct tone, voice and image to represent your business in online communications.
Proactive has a team of experienced graphic designers that will work with our digital team to create assets which you can use on your website, email and social media channels.
The creative content will be in line with your business’s activities and will provide you with a consistent look that enhances your brand and is representative of how you want your brand to be perceived.
Digital implementation templates
By now you will have reviewed your business’s online activity, devised a strategy to achieve your business goals and created the digital assets for your brand online. At this stage, we will start empowering you to manage your business online.
Based on the strategy that has been agreed and the channels to be used, we will select a number of intuitive online tools or apps that can be used by you regularly to create content for your online business.
The templates will include information on your customer personas (the characteristics of the people you will be communicating with).
We will show you where to view your performance based on online data. With these tools and information, you are in a better position to make decisions and put them into action going forward.
Finally, we will provide training to fill in any gap in your knowledge of online business or social media. We will provide one-to-one training sessions (most likely remotely) and allocate a number of hours for support at any time should you need to pick up the phone for advice or help.
Training will be targeted towards your needs and may include:
- Facebook Live video training sessions – Facebook Live is an engaging and cost-effective way to communicate directly to your audience on social media. You can connect with your audience in real time to give a more personal experience and as videos are live and unedited, they lend an air of authenticity and credibility to your message. Our digital marketing team can give you tips and advice on how to run regular Facebook Live video sessions.
- Training on how you can update your WordPress website. If you haven’t edited your site in a while, it’s a good time to refresh your skills on this.
- Maybe you want to know more about best practice on how to optimise current and new content on your website to improve your search rankings online.
- Learn how to set up an email template in MailChimp so that you can communicate with your customers.
Who is eligible?
- You are eligible to apply for the voucher if you satisfy the following criteria:
- Limited or no e-commerce presence;
- 10 or fewer employees
- Turnover less than €2M
- Business must provide clear proof of trading for a minimum of 6 months
- Business must be located in the area covered by the LEO to whom they make their application.
For full eligibility, terms and conditions, please see the LEO website.
Application dates are from 8th April to 30th September 2020.
The application form can be downloaded here: Trading Online Voucher Application Form.
If you are considering availing of the LEO Trading Online Voucher, be sure to give us a call to discuss your needs and we can help you.