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Digital Adaptation and Innovation Grant

Camden Council

Written by John Foskett

Apr 30, 2020

April 30, 2020

Can I apply

 

To qualify and receive the grant it’s important your application is for the correct reasons. The grant has specific requirements we have listed and bolded the key goals the grant is designed to achieve.

It’s important your application for the grant has the stated goals in mind and also maxmises the returns your business can get from the grant money.

This article details what you should be looking to implement as part of your “Digital Adaptation and Innovation Grant” to maximise your success for the grant and for your business online.

    The Camden Council states that the grants will be given to:

    Adapt business models to digital or online delivery

    You can use the grant to pay for goods and services that enable the business to adapt and work better using digital and online.

    Adapt current business practices to remain in operation

    You need to implement innovative processes in response to COVID-19 that will allow your business to remain open for business.

    Eligibility Criteria

    To be eligible for funding, a business must:

    • Conduct primary business operations within the Camden LGA
    • Be a sole trader or small business with an annual turn-over of up to $2,000,000
    • Deliver the digital adaptation or innovation project within three months of receipt of grant funds

    Assessed Criteria

    Applications will be considered by an allocation committee of Council Officers and recommendations will be considered and endorsed by Council.

    They will use the following criteria

    • Demonstrate how the business has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Demonstrate how the digital upgrade or innovation will facilitate business continuity or adaptability through the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Demonstrate capacity to undertake and deliver the project within three months of receipt of grant funds
    • Engagement of local vendors for project delivery
    • Detail the expenses that the requested funds will cover

    Applications Due By

    Day(s)

    :

    Hour(s)

    :

    Minute(s)

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    Second(s)

    Up to $15,000

    Key application questions around the digital solution

    We have had businesses contacting us saying they had completed their grant application. The due date for the applications is midnight May 31st. We believe you are best to speak to the companies you want to use for implenting your digital and online upgrades before submission. Then use them to help you put the best answers to these key questions.

    • Describe the digital adaptation or innovation initiative (the project) that you will implement with the grant. (100 words)
    • How will you implement the project? * (300 words, bullet points and timeframes)
    • What are the expected outcomes of the project? I.e. how will it enable your business to respond/adapt to COVID-19 disruptions? * (200 words)
    • How will you know if these outcomes have been achieved? * (200 words)
    • What percentage of the project will be delivered by a business in the Camden LGA? *
    • If successful for the grant, when do you anticipate going live with the project? *

    The Camden LGA has a lot of great businesses that should allow you to keep close if not all 100% of the work delivered locally. Also most online and digital systems can be implemented in stages. So for example we have implemented basic sites within 24hrs, then exapanded on them over a period of a few weeks when needed. The quicker you can get the system up the quicker it will help your business adapt and that is the aim of these grants.

    Using the grant to Adapt

    The Digital Adaptation and Innovation Grant is designed to assist with, but not limited to, purchase of software or digital hardware, website development, innovation of processes, or engagement of third parties to provide services supporting businesses.

    We Manage over 100 digital and online systems in the Camden Council. So we felt the best help we can give is show the ways we use these systems everyday in those industries. Also the key things every business needs to cover if they want to invest in these.

    We will cover some examples below but also general things all businesses should consider in their application and digital upgrade. 

     

    7 Website Must haves

    1. Host in Australia on quailty servers
    2. Be secure, HTTPS, software protection with regular scans and monitoring
    3. Offsite daily cloud backups
    4. Optimised for search engines (SEO)
    5. Keep all software and systems up to date
    6. Tracking everything, Analytics and Webmaster and goal tracking to measure results
    7. Getting traffic, leads and sales makes success. Allow budget for it in your submission

     

    Healthcare / Trainers / Nutritionists

    Create a Learning Management System (LMS).  This allows you to sell online courses, with member only pages. You can release short videos for free and share via the site and social media to get people to use them and determine if they like to continue. Then they can pay one of or subscription fees taken through the website automatically.

    For example LearnDash

    We have implemented these systems with multi tier pricing and member access. Once you build the content and can get your customers using it this can create a simple to manage recurring revenue source.

    You can also setup simpler systems to sell virtual classes and online courses with subscriptions, so fees are taken automatically or one off.

    Also popular are creatingt ebooks, online lessons, videos, podcasts all of which can be sold online. At the moment a few of our clients are selling online work sheets aimed at kids to help keep them busy while homeschooling.

     

    Food Produce

    Farmers and stores that are selling things like fruits and vegetables are now moving to online to sell these direct to customers in their homes. These systems allow people to order, pay online  and then have it delivered or picked up. Ofthen increasing the profits to farmers and wholesalers. 

    We find these systems once setup with customer managment to allow reordering and storing of details for fast repeat ordering work well. The customers using the site for purchases tend to be loyal and use the system regualry.

    These systems are best setup with cart and allowing online payments. Also delivery integration with courier or Australia Post.

      Home services

      We have noticed this industry did slow initially when lock downs came in but now it back well above normal levels for a lot of businesses. Its important you outline to customers a message about Covid-19 on your website. 

      In that outline the steps your taking to keep them safe and run with current changes. We have clients doing online quoting and adding videos to their site showing clients how their new processes work. Also lessons on how they can help to the quote with them not needing to be in person and only using video chat. 

      We find businesses that show this clearly and keep customers informed are seeing an increase in work. Again online payments and help with the ability to send digital quotes and invoicing. 

      Also make sure to have your business Get your business on Google My Business listing optimised and all online reviews and feedback audited for keeping on top of your brand reputation online. 

      For driving new traffic to the site posting completed projects for SEO and other SEO optimisation works well for local business. AdWords when managed well can also bring instant new sales and leads to a business.

        Bars, cafes and restaurants

        Show your menus online and allow direct online ordering and payment. Also bookings and menu with weekly specials.

        Sell gift vouchers and even member reward systems. These would all have online payments and help build loyality and repeat customers.  Its critical in this industry your sites work well on mobiles.

        Customer relationship tools to allow you regular contact with customers, so systems that store emails. Then make sure you encourage customers to go online and join your reward programs etc.

        For catering again online carts with ordering and deposts or even direct quote requests from the cart help specially for corporate catering we find. These customers once they use the system once ofthen will come back and reuse it again in the future.

         

        Counselling

        Mental health issues are predicted to increase as a result of current Covid-19 changes. Its important you can continue your services remote. Track all your bookings online and take live online bookings and deposits helps. 

        For example Amelia

        This is a great plugin we use on clients sites that allows their clients to make easy bookings. Its also very popular as it can take booking fees incase of cancellations.

        Speciality stores and clothing

        The first step is setting up an ecommerce store. A basic ecommerce store can be done quick and easy. Then you can take payments online and even setup sales, coupons and loyalty programs.

        To get sales you need marketing. Get your products online with Google Merchant Center, and otehr systems that can plug direct into your site and allow you to list your products on 3rd party systems automatically.

        Also its important to create effecient fulfilment systems. As you do more and more orders they need to be processed in an effcient way to maintain profit. Also to make sure you keep customers happy and coming back.

        Accounting and Solicitors

        This is an industry that has been quickly becoming more digital the last few years. This is probably out most popular client area. A lot of services can be listed online as for sale and only need minor involvment from the Solicitor or Accountant.

        Booking systems work well, for example Amelia

        This is a great plugin we use on clients sites that allows their clients to make easy bookings. Its also very popular as it can take booking fees incase of cancellations.

          Industrial and manufacturing

          If you sell direct to consumers or businesses online payment and shopping systems are becoming an important part of these industries. 

          We have done a few online systems that sell for one price to the public and another for wholesale if they login with an account. These allow easier management of all orders and easy price look up and payment for customers. They also mean your customers can see all the products and services you offer, now and in the future as you add more. 

          You can also use it to allow easy reorders and clearing of old stock when needed. 

          Intergrating order fulfilement systems with this can link the website to your warehouse allowing for faster and more relaible product delivery to customers at lower costs.

           

           

          Building and construction

          An important part of websites in this industry is posting past projects you have done. its important to include good photos, short video and a minimum of a few good paragraphs of text about the project.

          Remember to mention keywords you want to rank for. The suburb it was in, the materials used. For example “We completed this carport at Oran park, just near Narellan. It uses aluminium, steel, with timber features…”

          This shows off your work and potential customers can see what they can get and relate it to their project. It also helps you rank on the search engines for people searching “Aluminium Carport Narellan”.

          To get instant leads to help you get work straight away you can use paid Ads on Google and Facebook.

          Also make sure you have site pushes getting users to make contact. Get live online quotes. Make sure all phone numbers can be clicked on a mobile and called, not needing to be typed manaully.

            More Coming Soon!

            We will add more details for each industry soon.  Also please comment on the bottom of this page for other industries you want tips on.

            If you subscribe at the bottom of the page we will notify you when changes are added.

              Ideas

              Look to your competitors for ideas!

              • Enable HTTPS on your site for security and better SEO
              • Speed up site with better servers and optimisation
              • Setup CRM systems and mailing systems
              • Site redesign to show your a market leader and modern
              • Get training for staff so you can manage more in house
              • Increase website traffic with lessons or maanged plans
              • Increase website enquires and sales with site funnel improvements
              • Improve website usability on mobiles and tablets
              • Improve overall usability of the website
              • Add a new tools for employees to improve efficiencies
              • Create a Cyber security plan, to protect client data
              • Reduce email spam and improve email delivery
              • Increase company’s social media presence e.g. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
              • Use paid online Ads, e.g. Google, YouTube, Mobile Apps, Facebook
              • Improve you current online Ads, better funnels and tracking
              • Try “Google Remarketing” (Ads that target people who visited your website)
              • Improve search engine ranking (SEO)
              • Setup lead tracking
              • Setup customer message systems (email, SMS, app pop ups, website pop ups)
              • Setup a blog and post regularly to it for SEO and loyalty
              • Setup automated systems to message/follow up customers
              • Support online payments e.g. PayPal/CC payments
              • Add a member system for customers to access personalised content
              • Setup a customer loyalty system
              • Add live chat to website and bots to prompt user actions
              • Sell and support Gift certificates
              • Monitor and protect your brand online
              • Monitor online reviews and feedback, positive and negative
              • Get training on how to use your website better
              • Add finance payment options AfterPay, ZipPay etc
              • Show customers past and newly completed projects with videos and text
              • Add videos on the website
              • Create an emergency recovery plan
              • Document and centralise all online and digital related accounts
              • Run an online sale (email, banners, ads, social)
              • Setup a shopping cart system
              • Track more about the website visitors
              • Create specialised landing page for a target product services
              • Improve your Google business listing
              • Add an online quote system to website
              • Setup Google/Amazon/eBay shopping feed
              • Upgrade website search tool for better results

              Think Long term and also keep in mind the more complex and advanced the system is the more cost it will probably have to be maintained. So it needs to create revenue and profits to justify that. That is why your online plan needs to be a full solution and not just a website.

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