Free Advice for SE London Business Owners
Sun 5th September 2010
The net gains of having a website are explained as part of the free support offered by South East Enterprise (SEE).
The agency in Burney Street, Greenwich, has been supporting prospective, new and existing business owners on all aspects of business management for more than 20 years.
Funding from Greenwich Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) means expert advisers are now offering free training workshops and one-to-one advice sessions to businesses keen to have an online presence. The IT and e-business training support looks at the first steps to starting an online business through to website design, search engine optimisation, selling and taking online payments to editing digital images and web site reviews.
SEE area director Jeremy Hedger said: “In the space of 10 years the worldwide web has revolutionised the way businesses promote and sell their products. Today all the big high street names offer an on-line service and having a web presence is now vital for any small business trying to increase its market share or win new customers. It’s often difficult for business owners to know where to start but we can help them grow their businesses through managed and targeted planning. Our adviser team have run successful businesses themselves and use their experience and expertise to help clients meet their objectives by providing impartial and practical advice tailored to meet their specific needs”
Jo Pye is the director of Greenwich-based internet publisher Carousel Internet Publishing Ltd, which was set up in 2004.
She contacted SEE for support in developing e-commerce facilities and attended SEE’s E-Business & IT workshops including ‘Selling Online & Taking Payments Online’.
The firm has also benefitted from one-to-one in-depth support with SEE advisers to develop a viable growth plan.
“SEE have de-mystified the whole process of selling and taking payments online, they have given us the confidence and knowledge to really develop this for our business. These courses are invaluable for small businesses,” Jo told GT.
Learn more about Carousel Internet Publishing at www.carouselinternetpublishing.com
Limelight Entertainment is a thriving theatrical production company launched in Charlton in 1995.
The company is now based at the IO Centre in Woolwich Arsenal employing eight people and specialises in the sale and marketing of theatre merchandise. Traditionally show merchandise was only for sale at the theatres where the shows were performed but the company has been able to set up an effective on-line sales site so customers can order and pay for theatrical merchandise on-line 24 hours a day 7 days week - even when a show has stopped running.
Limelight has worked with well-known theatre productions including ‘Grease’ and ‘The Sound of Music’ and is currently focussed on supplying Peppa Pig’ merchandise for a new show which hits the London stage for pantomime season.
Limelight’s project co-ordinator Alison Grant attended SEE’s Business Growth Programme with colleague Paul Woolsey.
She said: “We had been selling through traditional points of sale at theatres and other pantomime venues but realised that many potential customers were not able to buy the merchandise they wanted at the theatre itself. As you can imagine many of our customers are children who do not always have enough pocket money to purchase on ‘the day’. This was losing Limelight sales too, so we set ourselves the task of adapting our existing website to sell ‘Peppa Pig’ merchandise on-line.”
Paul added: “We soon realised that there were no ‘quick fixes’ and were becoming more and more confused with the expensive solutions that web designers were suggesting. A timely visit from a SEE adviser changed all that, and we soon learned how we could quickly build an effective and user- friendly site which showed the items we sell and we were selling online in two weeks!”
Limelight’s website is at www.thelimelightgroup.co.uk
l For further information about the free IT on e-commerce business support on offer through SEE visit www.seenterprise.co.uk call 020 8305 2222 or email email@example.com