Over one hundred SMEs attending an event for members of the Small Firms Association hosted by Google today at its European Headquarters in Dublin heard that having a good online business strategy will help Ireland’s struggling SMEs to attract more customers and increase sales and growth in 2011. However they were warned that Irish businesses are seriously behind the curve in comparison to their UK and European counterparts and that if business growth is to be achieved no business can afford to ignore the revenue earning potential that the internet holds for their business.
Addressing participants, Ronan Harris said; “Obviously Google is known as a search engine but from our European headquarters here in Dublin we also work with thousands of businesses across Europe helping them to make a successful business online. Some are struggling to survive and Google wants to help Irish business to overcome these difficulties and to achieve the same kind of success as their European counterparts.”
He continued, “An important first step is the creation of a website, it can take just 20 minutes to get a website, but we have seen people getting a significant volume of new sales from their new websites and how it can connect them to customers online searching for the products or services they sell.”
However, Google also warns that many companies think once they have a website they can sit back. They forget that the website is the shop window, they then have to attract customers in to the shop, using tools like search engine optimisation and online advertising will help businesses to turn an online query into a sale. Google says the message is simple: companies that don’t have an online presence are missing a huge opportunity.
One SFA member that made the leap online and is reaping the rewards is MicksGarage.ie, Ireland’s only car parts and accessory website which was set up in 2004 by two Mayo brothers Michael and Ciaran Crean. They noticed a 100% increase in sales month-on-month and over the first year of trading volume sales increased 10 fold. They launched into the UK market in November 2005 and the business continues to go from strength to strength.
“Despite the conservative nature of the auto business we decided to take our business online, said Michael Crean, Managing Director, MicksGarage.ie. “We could see both consumers and the trade were searching for better value online so we wanted to be at the forefront of this. Lately we’ve noticed that discussions on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and Boards.ie feed into searches for the products that we sell. Using Google Adwords we are then placed to capitalise upon online referrals”.
He explained, “For example, the current cold spell in Ireland sparked online discussions around accessories for driving in the snow and we quickly sold out of tyre snow socks, which are super-strong textile socks that you slip over the drive wheels to provide the grip you need on ice and snow.”
Avine McNally, Acting Director, Small Firms Association said; “We are working to ensure that our members are best placed to move their business online and take advantage of this still relatively untapped business resource. The internet will be a key driver of our economic recovery with SMEs in particular harnessing the opportunities it presents.”
Google has over 1,000 Google people working in Dublin in online sales and operations with companies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa – helping them to innovate, become more competitive and to build bigger businesses.
For further information please contact:
Google Press Office
Tagged with: Business • Dublin • Europe the Middle East and Africa • Google • Ireland • Ireland Small Business Owners: New Sales Strategy • Online advertising • online business • Small and medium enterprises
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