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Your Simple Digital Tips

Read the latest news and tips from your simple digital to help you understand the digital process as simply as possible.



Your Simple Digital specialises in helping clients get their businesses started online.


Having run an online business in the UK for 12 years, I understand it can be daunting to take a business online for the first time. I love to help businesses through the early stages and take a practical view based on my own experience combined with the latest technology.


In Ireland, you can claim up to €2500 match funded towards taking your business online using the Trading Online Voucher Scheme (TOV). Because the scheme is readily available, the average price of a website in Ireland has inflated as web developers have been able to offer websites at a premium price knowing their clients were getting match-funded support from the Government.


This has created a false impression that it is necessary to spend around €2500 or more on a website.


When you are planning to go online for the first time you will hear this advice.


“You need a website for your business.”

“Use the Trading Online Voucher to help you get started.”


Both these comments are true, it is a very good idea to have a website for any business as it means you have full control over your own corner of the internet.


Using the government-backed Trading Online Voucher is also a brilliant way to help you when you are starting a business.


However, the digital world changes very quickly there are several alternative ways for Your Simple Digital use to take your business online without spending all your start-up money on a website. This allows you to develop your business idea in a more flexible way with a budget for a wider digital approach while still being eligible for the TOV match funding.


Instead of spending €2500 on a website, you could have a website PLUS all or some of the following:


OPTION A OPTION B YOUR SIMPLE DIGITAL

WEBSITE WEBSITE

+ DIGITAL STRATEGY

+SOCIAL MEDIA SET UP

+SUPPORT TO GET TOV

+12 month CONTENT PLANNER

+ 1-1 SUPPORT

+ BRANDING



Matching the most suitable options for your business, #thenonscarytechylady will guide you through the process and the cost, then help you apply for the TOV to get half of the money paid back.


This way you can use your TOV to get a full start-up package carefully matched to your business and budget.


Which one of these options looks like the best value for your budget?


Why not call me for a no-obligation chat about taking your business online?



Do you get stuck for ideas to create content online?

This is how to search the web for inspiration.


It’s all there if you allow yourself time to look!

In my previous life, as a creative textile designer, it was part of my responsibility to be aware of future trends and to predict what colors, patterns, and styles would be in fashion years in advance.


To help work out this difficult challenge, every six months, I was sent to New York, Florence, Paris, Frankfurt, and London to do comparative shopping trips and attend trade exhibitions.


Today I apply the same principles to work in the digital world, only now I can do the research from the comfort of my home office without having to get dressed!


When you start out online it is easy to be totally stuck for inspiration and not know where to begin.

But if you learn where to look there is a wealth of inspiration at your fingertips if you allow yourself a bit of time to really search around the internet.


So next time you are stuck for ideas to create a social media post or at the beginning of a project to create a website or a new brand image, try this process.


1. Set aside some time to do some online research.

2. Start by looking online at your local competition.

3. Then check out similar businesses internationally. ( I recommend looking at Australian sites, just type in the subject you are researching and add Australia )

4. Look at businesses with bigger budgets than you can afford.

5. Try looking at completely different industries for original ideas too.

6. Every time you see an idea you like, take a screenshot and build up an ideas file.

7. Notice the things you don’t like too; it will help you to think about what to avoid.




Once you have picked out the best ideas you have found and think could work for your business, it is important that you then re-interpret them with your own personality and branding.


Copying is neither legal nor recommended, but taking several ideas from different sources, and changing them to suit your own brand is a legitimate creative process.


Like all other digital skills, it will take time and practice, but if you allow yourself time for research, you can cherry-pick the best ideas from around the globe without having to hop on a plane!


I rather miss the time when that’s what I was paid to do, but I also enjoy sitting in my P.J’s scooting around the globe completely free of charge!


I hope this helps you next time you run out of ideas, let me know how you get on or contact me if you would like me to help you.






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What happens to small business owners who have a gap in their digital skills?


It is getting more and more difficult for small business owners to avoid the online world.


I am not referring to people who are perhaps older than 65, where you might find it easier to appreciate a lack of experience, I am talking about the impact of the digital revolution on a proportion of the population who are lacking in digital skills, and increasingly unwilling to admit it due to an unspoken stigma.


Not only do they feel embarrassed to admit to a lack of digital skills, but a significant portion doesn’t see any need to improve their skills.


However, the reality is that avoiding developing your digital skills can be crippling for small business owners.


I recently worked with a highly successful bar owner. This person is not yet 50 but had never had to use a computer of any description. Consequently, making the step to take the business online had become a big problem.


They knew it was unavoidable and that it would improve the efficiency of their business, but it took several years of saying, “ I know I need to do this” before they were ready.


Every aspect of the business was affected.


The first step was to order the kegs of Guinness online. They had been ordering the kegs on the phone each week, a process that took a frustrating 30-40 minutes of waiting to get through, combined with a hastily handwritten note of the order.


Once we set up my client online, the same process now takes 5 minutes and the complete order history and accounts are available online.


Then we tackled the takings and the accounts, which had been recorded by hand in an exercise book. After the closure of the local bank, it had become time-consuming to go to the nearest branch, because they didn’t bank online.


When you have no experience online, it is neither quick nor simple to set up an online bank account. These fundamental tasks are challenging for someone with no digital experience.


The next step was creating a simple spread sheet to record the daily accounts and enable the owner to send the details to the accountant by email. This saved an hour-long trip to deliver the handwritten accounts and reduced the accountancy bill, as they had already prepared the spread sheet.


It also gave the owner an accurate overview of the business results and consequently better control of the outgoings and profitability daily.


These few simple steps have transformed a small business and the business owners’ confidence. We haven’t even started on social media or websites yet because the fundamentals of running the business had to be created first.


They may seem insignificant and simple to achieve, but when you have no experience typing onto a laptop, creating passwords, accessing logins, or keeping a filing system, it’s a minefield.


There are plenty of valid reasons for falling into the digital gap, you may have had a team of people doing it all for you, or it could be you worked in a job that made it possible to avoid going online.


What concerns me is the number of people who are embarrassed to ask for help, and whose businesses are now being affected because they don’t have the basics.


A recent report created by Accenture on The Digital Divide in Ireland states:


“When 35% of all survey respondents say there are no areas of digital skills that need improving – in their personal or professional lives – the prospect of closing gaps when it comes to advanced skills becomes more of a challenge. When that figure rises to 45% amongst the 45-54 age group, it becomes a cause for concern.”


Whatever experience you do or don’t have if you need help with taking your business online, contact #thenonscarytechylady for support.



I specialise in beginners, early-stage digital development, and simplifying the process.


Ref

https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/PDF-174/Accenture-digital-index.pdf#zoom=40

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