If you’re in the food business and you’ve dipped your toe in the world of fairs, festivals and trade events, you’ll know how useful – and enjoyable – it can be to get out and meet potential customers and fellow entrepreneurs and producers.
As well as providing an opportunity to sell and spread the word about your food product, events like the Ploughing Championship (which we wrote about in a previous blog) and Bite, allow you share stories and ideas and just chat with other people who may be on a similar journey to your own.
But while it’s hard to beat the buzz of making those connections face to face, sooner or later, most of you have to get back to doing the work of growing, harvesting, and/or producing whatever it is you’re selling. So how do you stay in touch with the outside world and continue spreading the word when it’s all hands to the pump processing the harvest or getting ready for a busy Summer season?
This is where having a decent on-line and social media presence comes into its own. And before you turn away thinking that you’ve enough on your plate without getting into what might be the unfamiliar and daunting world of websites and e-commerce, you should know there is plenty of expertise and financial assistance out there for you.
One of the most important Government-backed initiatives for small businesses in this area has come from the National Digital Strategy which has led to the development of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme
This provides financial assistance (up to €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure) for developing or improving e-commerce websites, developing and implementing digital marketing strategies and other work associated with selling and marketing your business online. It’s aimed specifically at small businesses (with fewer than 10 employees and with a turnover of less than €2m) and can be used to buy in expertise or to develop your own.
But even if you don’t qualify for that particular scheme, or are not yet ready to sell online, an online presence is increasingly important for reaching new customers, markets and possible trading partners.
Having your own website does more than allow you showcase your product; it allows you build relationships with customers and potential customers, through you telling your story and letting visitors to the website in on what you are doing and what your plans are.
It also helps you focus on your brand and on what is important for you to develop and grow your business.
For more help in developing your business, see
And if you’d like to discuss your brand, marketing, content and digital strategy or if you need advice when applying for state-backed supports for your digital presence, feel free to contact us