Launch Online Grant Program
If you run a small or medium-sized enterprise, increasing visibility should always be a major concern. Basically, you can only do this through marketing, which significantly promotes product awareness to your prospective customers. However, marketing may not yield the desired results if you rely on traditional forms of advertising. You need to shift your focus to the huge marketplace of prospects online, and Launch Online Grant Program gives you a perfect opportunity to do this.
Have you ever heard of digital marketing? It is the new way of reaching out to more consumers through the use of modern technologies. It is the modern and the most effective way of establishing an authoritative online presence. Having known the benefits of digital marketing, British Columbia has introduced the Launch Online Program.
What is the Launch Online Grant Program?
As part of the government’s efforts to create a stronger British Columbia, Launch Online Grant Program was introduced. In this project, the government seeks to invest up to $12 million to help small and medium-sized enterprises increase their visibility by moving their business model online.
In simple terms, the government is helping you create an online shop. It wants you to improve your e-commerce experience, which is vital in attracting new local customers and expanding your business to new markets.
How is this even possible? This is a rare chance in which the government is willing to cater for up to 75% of the cost incurred to get your business online. Imagine receiving up to $7,500 to do this. Yes, this is what you will receive if eligible for the grant.
Are you Eligible?
You can apply for the grant if you are ready to start and finish an online shop within 12 weeks. As you plan to apply, here are two key points to note:
- Up to 25% of the funds are strictly reserved for indigenous businesses and those that are operating outside of the greater Victoria and lower mainland.
- Once you receive the grant, you MUST hire a B.C-based company to develop an online store for you.
You can go ahead and take advantage of this golden opportunity. Before applying, please check if you meet the following general eligibility criteria:
- You are a British Columbia resident
- Your business’s operations are based in British Columbia
- Your business MUST:
- Be currently operating
- Have generated sales of at least $30,000 in the past year.
- Have repeatable products
- Not have an online store, and if it has, its features should not exceed the ones specified.
- Be registered in B.C.
- Be employing less than 149 B.C. residents
- Be Paying taxes in B.C
- Have a GST number, Business Number, PST, and WorkSafeBC number.
The application procedure is simple. It involves these three steps:
- Develop a grant proposal– This indicates how you plan to use the funds.
- Complete the online application– This is where you demonstrate that you meet the eligibility criteria.
- Contact- You will be contacted within three weeks to be notified about the outcome of the application.
Why Do You Need an Online Store?
Most SMEs wish to go online, but they lack funds to do so, while others don’t understand its numerous benefits. As times change and the business environment becomes increasingly competitive, you should also adjust your business model accordingly.
As you think about digital marketing, you need to understand two main things:
- Most of your customers are online– You can’t just sit in your store and wait for customers to show up. The world is highly digitized, and almost everyone is already online. They are probably there looking for a product or service that you are selling.
- Most of your competitors are also online– If you want to be successful in business, you need to understand what your competitors are doing, learn from it, and maintain a step ahead. If they have already established a web presence, how will you compete with them? Do the same, and if possible, do it better.
So, Why is Digital Marketing Important?
Digital marketing has proved to be a valuable asset for many businesses. You can also embrace the model and help your business grow.
Here are several reasons why you need to invest in an online marketing strategy:
- You become more accessible to your customers– As the world becomes significantly digital, the first place where most people look for what they want is online. They mainly do it through a simple Google search. Just imagine what happens when you don’t have an online presence.
- You reach people where they spend most of their time- Do you know that most people spend at least 2 hours in a day online? Do you also know that more than 22% of the world’s population is on Facebook? Think of other social sites, such as Twitter and Instagram. When you put your business online, you are just making it more visible.
- Interactivity- If you have a business website, you can communicate directly with the customers through reviews, comments, messages, and social media posts. This makes the customers feel valued and, on your part, you gather essential insights about customers’ preferences and reactions.
- It’s flexible- When you have an online store, you can embark on many forms of digital marketing, including email marketing, social media posts, banner ads, and content marketing.
- Multimedia integration– A marketing material that combines multiple types of content is more appealing and engaging. With digital marketing, you can incorporate various forms of content types, including video clips, photos, and audio.
- It’s more targeted– Unlike the traditional forms of marketing, digital marketing can dissect huge demographics. You can whittle them down to get very targeted groups. In this context, promotion messages will only get to that person who is most likely to purchase the product.
- It creates a level playing ground– If you are a small business, you probably think that you can’t compete with big firms. However, digital marketing creates an online equivalent. By going online, you are giving your business a chance to hold a top-ranking position, just like Amazon or Starbucks.
- ROI– Digital marketing is always a valuable investment that will give you amazing returns. In email marketing, for instance, you are likely to get $38 for every $1 you spend. Other strategies, such as content marketing and social media marketing, also have good returns. As you go digital, you are able to stretch your dollars as you grow your business.
British Columbia understands the power of online presence in growing businesses. In this context, it has established the Launch Online Grant Program to help small and medium-sized businesses move their business model online. As discussed above, creating a web presence is the first step to grow your business and enable it reach greater heights, and you should take advantage of the grant. If you don’t know where to start, contact Adaptive Marketing Solutions today to help you with your digital marketing. We offer dependable and reliable digital marketing services, customized for your business.