The Coronavirus has caused untold damage to businesses everywhere. Many companies that were used to seeing customers face-to-face on a daily basis have seen a huge drop off in numbers as people fear close contact and the possibility of catching the virus.

In light of the Pandemic, people in their droves are now turning to the internet to source what they need. The reduction of 1 to 1 contact has meant that many businesses have had to think of other ways to reach their customer base and continue to offer their goods and services in this new Pandemic era. Amazon experienced a 50% increase * fact check

What I’ve found of late is that businesses have looked to their digital channels (web, social, email etc) to help maintain their contact with customers and pivot their businesses to offer their products/services online where possible. Many in retail need to look at online-only sales should a full lockdown rear its ugly head again

Fortunately, there is a very generous government grant available for small businesses to help them do just that. You can avail of up to €2,500 grant aid to develop a website that will include on online trading element or an appointment booking function. This grant must be 10% co-funded by the business which means you only have to pay €250.

To qualify for the scheme, businesses must have:

  • no more than 10 employees;
  • less than €2m in turnover;
  • be trading for at least 6 months and
  • be located in the region of the local enterprise office to whom they are applying.

How do I pick a web design partner for TOV?

As part of the application for the TOV you will need 3 quotes for the work. It’s important to be clear about what you want but also use the opportunity to ask questions and get advice as to what they think would best suit you for the project. Some web designers may have ideas that you hadn’t even thought of. Others might help you steer away from areas that simply will not be the best use of your budget.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when engaging with a web designer

Do they ask about my business? Are they interested in getting to know about my business and my customers?

Have they a portfolio of past projects that impress you? Are they flexible in their designs?

Do they have a structured planning process where all discussions are documented so as to keep the project on track?

Ask them about search engine optimisation. You need to consider this to get you site to rank at least on the first page of a Google search. 

Ask will they maintain your site after launch or can they train you to do it yourself? 

Make sure you own your own domain name even if the web designer assists with the hosting side of things. It’s always good to give a deadline for the project when the web designers are actually available to carry out the project.  Most of all, embrace the project and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

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