As part of the Online Trading Voucher Scheme, you’ll be expected to get three quotes for your digital project.
Once you’ve applied and you’re a little further down the road with the Online Trading Voucher Scheme, you’ll be asked to source three individual quotes, from separate companies, for the project. This is to ensure competitiveness and is similar to a tender system.
Here’s a quick checklist on how to get the best value for money.
1) Understanding the value of your digital project
Before enquiring about quotes, I’d recommend approaching a handful of digital media companies to get an understanding of your project value and so you can get a rough idea of what your project costs will be. Try a few different size companies too. Quotes can vary a great deal and some companies will be specialists in certain areas and thus possibly charge more.
You’re under absolutely no obligation to move ahead once you get a costing and, speaking as a company owner myself, we’re happy to talk to any potential Voucher Scheme customers, even if you’re just sounding out a project cost. Try us!
- Include a breakdown of what you want to achieve, as detailed as you feel it needs to be.
- Be as informed as you can in the correspondence and ask for explanations of any terms you don’t know.
- Be aware that mentioning the Online Trading Voucher at this stage can affect the price. Quotes often rise if you say you’re getting half of it paid for.
- You’re under no obligation to follow through with a quote. Feel free to say thanks and just walk away.
2) Make sure your project is eligible
The most common misconception with the Online Trading Vouchers is what it can be used for. For example, you certainly can’t use it to either build or improve your existing brochure site. But you can improve upon or configure your existing website towards e-commerce. There are a number of grey areas in the project eligibility descriptions and it’s best to either contact your local enterprise office directly, or ask the companies you have in mind.
The vouchers are meant for businesses that either have none or a limited online trading presence. Your company should tick all of these boxes:
- Less than 10 employees
- Turnover less than €2million
- Applicants must be registered
- Trading for minimum of 12 months.
Note: ineligible projects include those with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, ‘’not for profit’’ organisations, trade associations and company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce.
3) Getting formal quote documents and tax compliance
Once you’ve decided on three quotes, you must be sure that each of the quotes you receive are documented correctly. Insist on full quote breakdowns. Get a print out and keep a digital file, you’ll need these for the next step of the application.
Another good tip at this juncture is to check that the company is tax compliant. This is part of the application later on and you’re better to be informed now if there’s a problem. Deadlines are easily missed if you have to rush to find another digital quote.
Vouchers can be used for:
The Trading Online Vouchers can be used for the
- development or upgrade of an e-commerce website such as implementing online payments or booking systems
- purchase of Internet related software
- online advertising
- development of an app
- implementation of a digital marketing strategy
- consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy
- training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity
Vouchers cannot be used for:
- Development of brochure websites
- Purchase of non-internet related software
- Anything other than online trading related activity
There are a number of steps to the process, but the very first step in application is to register for one of the upcoming Online Trading Voucher Seminars. Follow this link to your Local Enterprise Office.