The Net effect: Online boost for small firms

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RESEARCH by the Local Enterprise Office has shown that a small business in Carlow which establishes an online presence sees a 21% increase in sales and an 84% increase in customer enquiries, on average. 

The figures also highlights that 73% of sales online among small businesses come from new customers, as opposed to existing ones.

Small companies who set up an online presence are also likely to create new jobs. On average, a small business which begins to sell online will hire 1.4 new employees.

Those companies who establish themselves on the internet also increase their opportunities to sell internationally and open their business to new markets. Three out of five small firms who set up an online presence begin to export for the first time.

Being online is a fundamental part of being in business

Speaking about benefits of being online, Pauline Hoctor, Senior Enterprise Development Officer in Carlow, said: “Being online is a fundamental part of being in business and for companies that are not yet online, they could be missing out on sales and exports. However, it can be daunting for some.

“The types of questions small businesses have are: how can I create a new website or add a booking system? How can I develop an app for customers? How can I advertise my business on social media?

“The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is aimed at those businesses. Local Enterprise Office (Carlow) can provide up to €2,500 in matched funding, with expert help and training to get more businesses online,” said Pauline Hoctor.

assist companies realise their digital potential

Kieran Comerford, Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office in Carlow County Council, said: “With a marketplace which is experiencing unprecedented challenges, opportunities and changes it is so important that we do everything we can to support our smallest firms to grow and scale.

“We will continue to assist companies realise their digital potential by providing supports that make a difference and help drive business success.”

Local Enterprise Office Carlow is helping more Irish businesses get online through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

This matched funding scheme gives small businesses access to expert mentoring, training and a €2,500 voucher to set themselves up online.

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