The trading online voucher is a government initiative set up to help small business increase or establish their online presence and to help them begin trading online. Provided through Local enterprise offices,the scheme provides training, advice and financial support to small businesses which struggle to gain an online presence.
Everblue has worked with numerous companies which have availed of the voucher and we are proud to be able to assist these small businesses in developing an online presence, gaining access to new markets,and increasing their revenue.
In this piece, we are going to look at what businesses are eligible and why you should avail of this great opportunity.
Your business must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the voucher.
· Limited or no e-commercepresence
· 10 or fewer employees
· A turnover of less than €2 million per year
· Applicants and businesses must be trading for at least 6 months
· Businesses must apply for the grant within their LEO area
· Previous voucher recipients can apply for a second voucher
With the current situation and the huge increase in online retail, we predict a huge increase in the number ofa pplicants in the coming months. Business which traditionally rely on in store and on-foot traffic will now be seeking a path toward eCommerce.
How to voucher can be used
· IT consultation
· Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
· Purchase of Internet-relatedsoftware
· Developing an app
· Implementing a digital marketing strategy
· Training/skills development
· Purchase of online advertising
Why was the initiative established?
Ecommerce is worth billions to the Irish economy, but small and medium-sized businesses are noticeably absent from online retail within Ireland. It is estimated that only 23% of small businesses in Ireland use e-commerce and their online presence in a meaningful way. The scheme was established to help counteract this.
Up to 70% of online purchases in Ireland are made overseas, meaning your business is missing out on an incredible opportunityb y not acting upon this scheme.
What the voucher provides:
Financial assistance to the tune of €2500 or90% of eligible expenditure. The expenditure must also meet certain criteria,so it is important to know and understand what you can and cannot use the money on.
Many LEOs provide a seminar day in whichd etails are discussed and this me be a pre-requisite for applicants.
If you would like to speak to Everblue about how the money can be used, contact our team today. We have worked with dozens of small businesses which have availed of the grant
What training is provided:
Training provided by Leo’s includes developing a website, digital marketing, social media for business and SEO. This training is ideal for those who want to learn the basics of creating and managing an online presence.
Should you ever need further details you can always talk to one of our team at Everblue and we can discuss in detail the many nuances of having an online presence.
This training gives you the foundation and knowledge to make informed decisions about the path you wish your business to take.
Other benefits of the trading online voucher:
Though this voucher helps businesses establish themselves online it does not solely stop at revenue generation.
· A strong online presence also creates leads which can be worked on in the future,
· Helps establish your business as a brand,
· Opens new markets with some research seeing increase of up to 20% in online purchases from companies which availed of the grant.
The grant allows a business to establish strong international ties and links and highlights your business as a contender in the online sphere. With eCommerce continuing to grow, for your business to survive you need an online presence.
How Everblue can help you:
As a digital marketing agency with many small and medium-sized business as clients, we have seen first-hand how this grantcan catapult a business.
We have been lucky enough to be able to provide support to these businesses when it is required and we have experience in obtaining grants, gathering the necessary documentation, and helping the application process run smoothly.
Our aim as a digital marketing agency is to get our clients results. Be this brand awareness, increased revenue, a strong social media presence or a quality search result, all tie into the trading online voucher. The more businesses which receive this, the more we can help.
The training provided by LEO’s is great, but ito nly goes so far and that is where Everblue digital come in.
COVID-19 and the Trading Online Voucher
Though COVID-19 19 has done great harm, this voucher is an ideal opportunity for small business to cut costs, develop new skills and create a larger market for their products. Thousands of small businesses have available of the scheme already.
Now more then ever small businesses need assistance from the government to offset issues surrounding COVID-19 and the lack of online presence for Irish businesses.
Creating an online presence also has the added benefit of making your business safer, customers no longer must rely on your physical office or store and can avail of your products and services online.
By becoming more involved online you can increase your trading activity, advertise your business to a wider audience and target your audience in a more concentrated way.
Businesses who have accessed the scheme have reported an increase in sales and the exporting of goods for the first time in their history.
Many businesses struggle with how to market their business online or where to start. Should they create an eCommerce store,website, social media pages, or use existing sites such as Amazon and Alibaba?
With quality free training from your LEO, this can be answered.
It’s important to contact your LEO to find out exactly how to apply in your area.