It's time for Gloucestershire businesses to grow online
PUBLISHED: 17:20 17 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:20 17 March 2015
Earlier this month The Growth Hub and GFirst LEP launched Boost, an interactive diagnostic tool which helps assess and support businesses to improve their online presence.
More than half of Gloucestershire businesses using the new innovative diagnostic tool have indicated that that they have little or no means of capturing and using customer data; as a result they could be missing out on the ability to forecast and plan for business growth.
The free diagnostic, available at boost.thegrowthhub.biz, takes users through a series of questions looking at various aspects of their current online presence, and can help businesses in all sectors from retail to manufacturing. Boost is set up to be of interest for businesses with little or no presence, as well as those with a well-developed online presence. Upon completion, the user is given access to carefully selected resources tailored to their answers, which will help them grow and improve online.
Jeannie Cohen-Brand, Commercial Manager at The Growth Hub said: “Insight from Boost is telling us that local businesses need support to measure the effectiveness of the digital activity they are currently undertaking. Local businesses want to know more about measuring ‘how well’ they are doing on Twitter and whether their LinkedIn Company Page is worth investing in. There is also a lot of interest locally on how to improve email communications”.
A consideration for all businesses, whether large or small, using any digital technology within their operations, is cyber security. Many business owners and leaders aren’t aware of the threats posed by poor cyber security, but the risk of losing valuable information is and the need to keep IT systems running smoothly, means it’s a hugely important factor in business management.
According to last year’s Information Security Breaches Survey, 45% of small businesses were victims of infection from viruses or malicious software. The cost of security breaches to UK business is billions of pounds a year, and has doubled since 2013.
In addition to Boost, this March The Growth Hub is running a series of free one-to-one Advice Clinics in partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary, and a cyber-security awareness briefing with Dave Whittles of Kaspersky Lab. These events will provide information on keeping your business safe, causing minimal disruption to productivity. More details can be found on The Growth Hub’s website at www.thegrowthhub.biz/events.
Gloucestershire businesses can also take advantage of a £200 subsidy for the Cyber Essentials Badge - a government-backed and industry supported standard which gives clarity for business on good cyber security. The badge allows your company to advertise the fact that it adheres to a government endorsed standard. The subsidy is only available until the end of March and is in limited supply. For more information call The Growth Hub on 01242 715400.