In a connected world where at the touch of a key we can e-mail someone on the other side of the world or find information on seemingly any subject we choose on our PC, it’s hard to imagine that some small businesses are still without an online presence.
Yet research by BT last year revealed that one on five small businesses do not have their own website despite the consumer surge in online buying.
This statistic and some innovative thinking by the BT business was the trigger to launch the ‘Online Starter Kit‘, a service designed to help small businesses promote themselves online.
For the team responsible for its launch it was the ideal way to demonstrate that technology is not only a ‘tool’ for users’ day-to-day jobs, but also a key in driving business forward with continual innovation.
It is also the first time that BT has brought together all of the essential ingredients for creating an online presence into one bespoke package, which is available from £149.
The service includes a website design consultation and professional web site build, logo design, advice around website copy and keywords, web hosting, domain based web mail and a BT Tradespace.com profile - all designed to boost a business presence on search engines such as Google.
BT Tradespace.com is a 300,000 online community, which enables businesses to sell products and services and connect effectively with other people so they can build business and customer relationships.
Carl Dicicco from BT’s business division says the challenge for the team working on the project was build a service that helps small businesses take the vital steps in getting online hassle-free.
He says: “Every business needs an attractive online presence that works well with search engines, but this can sometimes be a daunting step for a small business.
“We had lots of interesting research and felt that BT should be in this market. Our idea was to develop a website package which sat in the middle range of the market and would attract customers on price, looks and efficacy.”
The project was developed and launched within six weeks with a back-up office team of five designers and consultants ready to talk to prospective customers about their business and what they want to achieve for their website. The design of a company logo for the website is all part of the service if the business does not have one already.
“We can provide bespoke designs for customers and have the level of support and consultation to produce an excellent service for customers. At the moment we are producing up to 300 designs and builds a week,” says Carl.
With impressive figures like that the online presence of small businesses is far better placed to attract and retain customers than ever before.