Pauline Dunleavy of Anchor Crafts speaks with the Clare Echo on her association with the Local Enterprise Office on securing a grant for her website
Tell us about your business?
My business is a special and personal craftshop & art gallery located in Henry St. Kilrush. I stock jewellery, knitwear, household gifts, candles, bags and my own art pieces. All these items can be seen on my website: www.anchorcraftskilrush.ie.
Why did you decide to trade online?
Well, it was a no brainer, as the only way I could expand was through the internet. I had to move into the 21st century. Demand was becoming quite clear from customers that I needed to broaden my base.
What did you use the website grant for?
When costing the price of the set up of the webpage, it was difficult to do it on my own. I put the enquiry to my local enterprise office where I received the most helpful support from the LEO team. I dealt with Declan Meaney and with ease he described the necessary protocol for the grant. I got to work on it immediately. Declan advised me and encouraged me on all matters.
What was the impact of the website grant on your business?
It meant that I didn’t have to use up all of my own resources. This was an immediate benefit. The investment I made was equally matched by the grant I received from the LEO.
Would you advise other companies to trade online & what is the most important piece of advice you can give to other businesses?
I would advise people to contact the Local Enterprise Office to discuss with the professional team their own story. A website is a difficult way to get your business name and goods out there. This is a digital age and therefore all businesses have to move with the times.
Since completing your website project has it made a difference to your business?
As my location is in a remote area, now that I have a webpage, I am at the centre of the marketplace. I not only open 10-6pm, 5 days a week, I open 24/7, 365 days per year. Location no longer matters. I’m accessible at all times. My customers have access to me both locally and internationally at the click of the button.
Has anything surprised you since you began trading online?
The most surprising thing is that it works, business continues 24hrs a day, when a website is formed. When I launched my website, I was intrigued by the number of people that were interested.