LOCAL LEO TO HOST ONLINE TRADING SEMINAR
DESPITE the ever increasing trend towards online spending, it is estimated that approximately a quarter of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in e-commerce sales.
For businesses employing less than 10 people this could be even lower and it is now estimated that up to 70 per cent of online purchases made in Ireland are through overseas markets.
In an attempt to redress this balance, The Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources has introduced a Trading Online Voucher Scheme, teaming up with Local Enterprise Offices (LEO’s) to deliver the initiative.
Under the scheme, each LEO can distribute grants of up to €2,500 in addition to training and advice to micro-enterprises to help develop their website or digital strategy.
To qualify for the scheme businesses must have no more than 10 employees, have a turnover below €2 million per annum and be trading for at least 12-months.
Thus far, more than 2,000 businesses have availed of the initiative, with those participating reporting average sales increases of 20% per cent, with an 80 per cent jump in sales leads and three out of five exporting for the first time.
The Cork North and West LEO has announced it will host a free seminar at the E Centre in Fermoy next Wednesday, November 15, which will outline the Trading Online Voucher application process.
“For many businesses, the question is not whether to trade online, it’s how to start,” said the Mallow-based LEO business advisor Joan Kelleher.
The seminar, which will be delivered by Alan O’Meara of Almedia Design and Training, will cover a wide range of topics including targeting demographics, social media, increasing return on investment and pay per click advertising.
“It is a requirement that businesses must attend the seminar prior to submitting an application for a voucher. Applicants will be informed of the purpose of the scheme and how best to use and get value from the voucher to support their online trading proposition,” said Ms Kelleher.
To book a place on the seminar, which is only open to businesses trading within the LEO North and West Cork trading area, check www. localenterprise.ie/corknorthandwest.