Digital Drive is a £4m initiative that aims to help SMEs in County Durham to maximise their growth potential and sustainability through digital technology.
The initiative offers*:
- One to one business support to help with strategic business planning, digital marketing and guidance on digital technologies that could be beneficial;
- Fully funded masterclasses and conferences covering topics such as digital transformation, digital content and search engine optimisation;
- Digital Health Check to assess your online presence, review your digital skills and provide advice on the best use of technology for your business;
- Grant funds of up to 40% to support digital consultancy projects; equipment that will help your business to improve through the use of digital technology; website, software or app development; or the installation of broadband infrastructure.
*All support and funding is subject to eligibility criteria.
Digital Drive is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Business Durham, which works on behalf of Durham County Council, and private investment. The initiative forms part of the wider Digital Durham initiative to improve broadband speeds for residents and businesses across the North East.
Interested in finding out more
Contact Digital Drive to register for support, events and funding opportunities, through one of the contact methods below:
Phone: 0191 389 8458
It is now more important than ever to ensure your business has an online presence, but what are some sure-fire ways to carve out your own online footprint? We’ll be highlighting some key areas to that will help get your enterprise the digital platform it deserves.
Creating a website can be daunting. Most budding entrepreneurs don’t have access to large amounts of cash to throw at fancy web developers or possess the coding knowledge to create a sleek and stylish page on their own.
Don’t fret! There are plenty of options to help you create a clean and cool web page for a relatively low cost (and sometimes, even free). Sites like Wordpress, Squarespace and Wix provide users with the opportunity to create budget, customisable websites without the need for any coding skills. Using these type of companies can help you stand out against others in your sector by providing you with a modern-looking site and giving you the support to maintain it.
Most of these companies provide you with security, backups, software updates and online guides, making your venture in to the online world that little bit more relaxing
Whether you like it or not, social media has become a part of many of our daily routines. Whether you find yourself scrolling through Instagram on the bus to work, or checking in with your relatives on Facebook, social media is prevalent in our society.
Getting online and creating a page for your business can help you keep in touch with customers, advertise your products or services and help to give a personality to your enterprise. Each social media site is different, so be sure to swot up on the do’s and don’ts before you indulge; there are tonnes of examples of companies failing to get their tone right and not running their sites effectively.
See below for some handy tips and hints from digital marketers on how to create an effective social media page for your business.
With 3.5bn searches per day, its not hard to see why listing your business on Google can help you gain some exposure. Google’s Google My Business feature allows owners to register their business, providing further detail like address, opening times and pictures, to help potential customers find more info on your enterprise. This function also provides customers with the ability to post a quick review of your business, assigning you a rating out of five stars and leaving space to detail their experience should they wish.
Say, for example, you run a butcher shop. If someone was looking to find butchers in Durham city, they would type “Durham city butchers” and a list of options would be provided to them, detailing location, opening hours and how well they’re rated.
This service that Google provides also gives you the opportunity to access bite-sized lessons on marketing and the ability to get help from experts in their online community.
Ensuring you have a presence on Google can help new customers find you, instead of your competition.
Gone are the days where you need to be tech god to create an online presence. Getting your business online is becoming easier, less time intensive and helps you compete in an ever-growing marketplace. An online presence can be what separates you from a competitor, giving you an advantage and helping you grow your business even further!
While you’re here, why not check out another on of our business-focused posts? Click here to learn how fibre broadband can help your business!
How can fibre help your business?
When people think of the benefits of super fast broadband, most will probably think about a lack of buffering and speedy downloads. Although that’s great (who doesn’t love loading up Netflix without a wait?!), the benefits of superfast can be even more impactful on small business owners. Now that the vast majority of people have access to an internet connection, the internet is a powerful tool that every business, big or small, should be utilising in order to maximise growth and service.
Curious? Well, lets take a look at some of the ways fibre broadband can help your business grow.
More people connected:
Does your business have a group of people on the same broadband connection? Slow broadband can be infuriating at the best of times, let alone when more than one person is trying to access it. By upgrading to superfast you give yourself more bandwidth, meaning everyone gets a strong speed to work with.
Upgraded your connection can open your business up the world of video conferencing. Being able to chat to someone face-to-face who is on the other side of the country, continent, or even world (!), makes communicating with customers and stakeholders that little bit easier.
Everyone knows how irritating it can be to run out of memory on a hard-drive. Cloud storage lets you keep store your data online and access it remotely. Not only will this free up your device’s storage, but it also makes it easier for you and your team to access your files wherever you are! In the office, you can create a shared drive that you and your colleagues can upload and download from any time you like, making the sharing of documents a walk in the park.
Do you run a leisure business or a store? Superfast broadband means you’ll be able to provide visitors with a free wi-fi connection! In this day and age, more and more stores are giving their customers the opportunity to browse while they shop.
Improve your online presence:
Whether you’re consumer facing or not, building a presence online can help boost awareness of your business and lead to improved growth rates. A website, social media and YouTube channel can all be massively beneficial for an enterprise of any size, and a faster, more reliable internet connection means you can do these things better!
So whats the wait? Check now with your supplier to see if you can upgrade to superfast speeds. If you can’t, drop us an e-mail and lets talk about your options! Here at Digital Durham, we’re always excited to help get people connected.