GoDaddy wants to empower every small business owner by adding a digital dimension and enabling them to operate and be found on the Internet. GoDaddy believes that with the right tools, skills and support, entrepreneurs will not only get online, but do it right, succeed and grow.
SMEs are the bedrock of the UK economy. At the start of 2012, they made up a staggering 99.9% of businesses in the UK. They are responsible for almost 60% of private sector employment, and just under 50% of private sector turnover. However, changing consumer expectations and advancements in technology are creating new challenges for these companies.
Customers expect even the smallest business to have a website nowadays and to interact 24/7. They want to be able to find out more about the products and services on offer, the people behind the business, and what other customers’ experiences have been like.
In the UK there are around 2.5 million micro-businesses that have no digital presence. When people go online to find goods and services, these businesses are nowhere to be seen. They are effectively invisible. We want to put these businesses on the map and we want to do that by 2016.
That’s why we’re making it easier for micro-businesses to get online. If you’ve started or plan to start and run your own business, then you’re most likely an incredibly busy person. You get up very early, go to bed very late and spend all the time in between working.
Most people don't have someone on hand with a technology or marketing background, which makes them fearful of launching their own website. With a lack of time and the misguided belief that launching a website takes a lot of effort and money, many people are put off taking the first step.
GoDaddy is simplifying the process. Firstly, we are putting businesses online for just £1. Testing our suite of tools and services will cost only £12 per year, an incredible opportunity to become digital in a very effective and affordable way.
Secondly, we are providing them with local 24/7 telephone support to help get their website up and running. We want to show businesses and entrepreneurs there is nothing to fear and that we are here to help.
We know that our customers appreciate being able to speak to someone if they need support, instead of having to go through an automated service, or being directed to an FAQ section on a website. The customer care centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland is there to help GoDaddy’s rapidly growing number of European customers.
Although millions of customers are using digital technology every day, explaining what GoDaddy’s services can offer customers and how to use them effectively, means customers will become more productive and create new business opportunities.
You wouldn’t open a shop in the middle of nowhere, where people couldn’t find you. Today people go online to find goods or services. If your business isn’t there, you’re off the map.
Technology plays an essential part in business growth, helping businesses to reach larger audiences. For businesses with a desire to access international markets, for example, digital interaction can be the first step.
Britain’s 228,000 online retailers export more than the rest of Europe’s e-retailers put together. Many SMEs have discovered lucrative new markets because of a chance approach from an international buyer simply because of their web presence.
Micro-businesses have speed, passion and urgency. They spot opportunities, move quickly and explore new ideas in ways larger businesses can’t. If anyone is going to capitalise on the next big thing, it’s them. They are the trailblazers and innovators of modern business.
And often they offer products that are not available anywhere else. Dried oranges and cinnamon sticks are among my latest online purchases, indispensable this time of the year.
I’d recommend registering your chosen domain as soon as you can. It is a lot cheaper and easier to register a domain than people normally think. We live in very creative age and it’s quite possible that someone, somewhere, could come up with an idea similar to yours. If you’ve thought of the perfect domain for your website and you don’t want to lose it, I wouldn’t hang around.
This yearhundreds of new domain extensions became available on our website for the first time. If you are looking to launch a website, your options have never been so expansive. If your first choice is taken, maybe consider something similar but with a domain that reflects where your business is based, like .LONDON for example.
Or maybe opt for a domain that is connected with what your business does like .PHOTOGRAPHY or .TECHNOLOGY or .PLUMBING. There is more choice than ever and so it should be easy to find a place online to call home.
We’ve got our work cut out establishing digital identities for more than 2.5 million businesses in the next year. But we are confident we have everything in place to make 2015 the year of the micro-business in the UK.
They are too important to be allowed to fail, simply because they don’t have something as straightforward as a website. I believe the first step in unlocking their potential is letting the world know where to find them.