Thoughts on the Government’s ‘Do More Online’ Campaign
Every morning on my way to work I pass a large billboard advertising the government’s ‘Do more Online’ campaign, which encourages microbusinesses and sole traders to build a website, establish themselves on social media and sell their goods and services online.
Intrigued I thought I’d delve a little deeper to evaluate just what this campaign really has to offer for UK’s small businesses.
It’s pretty impressive that, according to the UKTI, the internet already contributes a larger proportion of the UK’s GDP than any other G20 nation. Our 200,000 plus online exporters also export more than the rest of Europe combined.
So, you could presume that this campaign is a little behind the curve. However, according to research cited by the Cabinet Office 50% of SMEs, voluntary, community and social enterprises don’t have their own website.
Those (presumably larger) companies with a well-optimised website are therefore the organisations truly leveraging sales from new customers and first-time buyers. Meanwhile smaller players without a web presence must rely solely on repeat custom and positive word-of-mouth.
For companies selling products or services online we can even take this one step further, according to whether the website has the ability to take online payments. After all, in terms of convenience the opportunity to make a 24/7 purchase beats a closed shop window every time.
For many microbusinesses and sole traders establishing a strong web presence may sound an ambitious aim. However, in a world where the starting point for most people looking to find (or evaluate) a product or service is Google it is essential to be found online.
Furthermore, if we want the UK economy to grow then it is essential our small businesses can grow and compete on a more level footing with their international peers. The UK is a relatively small island and the internet offers a channel into the wider global marketplace.
Therefore I think the government’s Do More Online campaign could be hugely successful and is something we should all support.
Regardless of the size of your business, the ‘Do More Online’ campaign website actually contains a goldmine of information on finding customers, being more efficient and spreading word of mouth.
Consequently, if you’re not getting the volume of sales enquiries you’d like, its advice on improving your web footprint could be a great place to start. The next stage is likely to be PR and content marketing. If you need help in this area then we’re happy to talk.
-Written by Robert H.