Trading Online Voucher – Helping Businesses Establish an Online Presence
With help from the Irish government’s National Digital Strategy, you can expand your business online. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) is funding the Trading Online Voucher scheme. The LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme (TOV) is aimed at small businesses & sole traders with low online trading capacity. and operating in industries where the market has not yet required them to develop this capability. The TOV Scheme was designed to help small firms with up to 10 employees expand their online trading, increase sales, and tap into new markets. Availing of the trading online vouchers can help to grow your business and online trading presence. The Trading Online Voucher (TOV) provides business financial support up to €2,500 with co-funding of 50% from the company. The online trading voucher reduces the cost of gaining a strong online presence. It can also help develop a solid digital marketing strategy for Ireland’s small business community.
Making educated decisions is essential for every business. Wellmarkit offer free support & training before you apply for the voucher. Wellmarkit also have a comprehensive package of marketing, SEO & business tools & support once your website is up and running. Making educated decisions is essential for every business. The free support & training offered by Wellmarkit, puts you in prime position to maximise the benefits to your business. Our support includes discussions on creating a website, digital marketing, social media & SEO. Wellmarkit provide unbiased information & assist businesses to ensure proposed online solutions are optimal. Businesses who have already obtained a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for 2nd online trading voucher (TOV). The Trading Online Voucher Scheme application procedure is a competitive process. Applications submitted by third parties on behalf of clients will not be accepted. Funding can be utilized to build new customer-facing apps or to add payment & booking capabilities to your website. The TOV can be used for subscriptions to online retail platforms (Shopify, Etsy, BigCommerce).
What is a Trading Online Voucher?
The online trading voucher is targeted at businesses who meet the following criteria:
- minimal or non-existent online presence;
- 10 or less employees;
- turnover below €2 million;
- Business applicant must have been in business for a minimum of six months**;
Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) don’t accept applications from businesses located outside of their territory. Businesses must be located in the LEO’s service area. So, if you are in Galway, you must apply to the Local Enterprise Office, Galway. Those who have already received a Trading Online Voucher may apply for a second voucher. Businesses must not submit an application for a 2nd voucher until their initial claim has been fully processed. (following completion of work assigned to the first TOV).
Conditions to receive the Trading Online Voucher
The maximum value of Trading Online Vouchers is €2,500 or 50% of qualified expenses (excluding VAT), whichever is less. Participation in an information session is a requirement of the program for applicants. If you are applying for a voucher, you must again attend an information session. These information sessions are usually held online via Zoom webinar. Applicants must have attended the Trading Online Voucher seminar within the previous nine months. If longer, you must attend a new TOV information webinar.
Applicants must have gained approval for the Trading Online Voucher before incurring any costs. i.e., if you spend money or pay a supplier before you have got TOV approval, you will not be able to reclaim 50% of the costs concerned. Receipts which predate the application’s approval are therefore ineligible. Only expenditure incurred to third parties is eligible i.e. applicants cannot claim for work you carried out by themselves. Third party supplier invoices must include proper business details – (e.g Tax and Business Registration details).
Some categories of business are excluded from the Trading Online Voucher Scheme. Excluded business categories can be identified by their NACE code. Applicants business NACE code can be consulted via CRO Registration. A full list of businesses excluded from the Trading Online Voucher scheme is available here:
Ineligible Businesses for the Online Trading Voucher
The following projects are deemed ineligible:
- Trade associations, semi-state businesses &organizations that represent businesses are not permitted to benefit.
- Applications from “Not for Profit” and social entrepreneurship initiatives, unless they work in the commercial sector
- Professional Services businesses with an IT specialization who can already Trade Online Using Existing in-house Systems.
- Seminars and Conferences
- Business activities that go against public policy
- Duplication of support for ventures that could receive funding from other state agencies or operational programs supported by the EU
- Applicants with more than 10 staff
- Projects that are deemed capable of moving forward without the TOV scheme
Businesses deemed ineligible for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme by virtue of their NACE Code ( as outlined above. Full list here
What can the Trading Online Voucher (tov) be used for?
The following expenses are appropriate expenditures after a business meets the terms and eligibility requirements mentioned above.
- IT Consultation
- Development or upgrading of a website or online store
- Implementation of an online booking system and / or addition of a payments system.
- Purchasing software for your Internet business presence
- Creating an app (or multiplatform webpages)
- Development of a digital marketing plan
- Implementation of a digital marketing plan
- Specific training and skill development for setting up and managing online trading activities
- Purchase of internet advertising (this purchase may not exceed 30% of the approved voucher cost & may only be drawn down once). i.e. 30% of the cost of developing a website.
- Cost of professional photography. (Photography cannot account for more than 80% of other approved voucher costs) i.e. 80% of the cost to develop applicant’s website.
If you are authorized to purchase professional photography and online advertising, the combined cost of such expenditures cannot exceed 80% of other permitted voucher expenditures (30% online advertising & 50% professional photography).
What can the Trading Online Voucher (tov) not be used for?
- Building brochure websites (websites where a visitor or lead cannot buy a product / service)*
- Purchase of non-internet related software
- Activities unrelated to online trading
*A brochure website is a website that replicates a paper brochure online. Brochure websites display the goods or services that your business offers. They do not, however, offer online shopping or an interactive booking feature, unlike an e-commerce website. A brochure website merely displays the products and services; visitors must get in touch with the business to place an order.
How To Apply for the Trading Online Voucher
1. To apply for a Trading Online Voucher, you must first attend a half-day Information Seminar on how to use and get the best value for money from the voucher. You can book into the next Information session via the links in the table at the end of this post – here. 2. After attending the information session you should complete and submit the application form through submit.com. See our model answers to the difficult questions on the application form below.
How can Wellmarkit help businesses with their Trading Online Voucher?
The Trading Online Voucher application form is quite straight forward. Answer the questions truthfully as your application will be vetted. Some questions need a forecast of future sales, employment potential etc. Be realistic with your projections. There are few questions on the application form which may seem difficult to answer. LEO are not trying to trick you, answer in your own words. Below are some pointers on questions which may seem tricky. Question 15
Business objective for your Trading Online project
What is it that your business expects this project to do that will help your business? Handle sales, generate new leads, handle customer service, etc… (please be as specific as possible)
- Available 24/7
- Streamline our services
- Enable us to avoid having to answer phone all the time
- Increase efficiency with queries answered on website & bookings / purchases finalised online.
- Handles customer service – FAQ -website should answer common questions
Unique Selling Point of your Products / Services / Business processes targeted in this project:
Look at your online competitors, decide what products/services you will focus on – not all of them need to be traded online. Why did you select what you have?
- Range of products I offer
- I offer more customized services than competitors
- Your skills can target your niche better than your competitors can
My unique selling point is the range of services I can offer to clients. (Sports Massage , Injury rehab, Dry Needling , Cupping therapy , Sports taping and strapping, pre and post event massage & Normatec recovery sessions). There are few Sports Injury & Recovery therapists who offer this wide a range of services. I offer flexible pricing based on peak / non-peak hours. This is not something that many of my rivals are engaging in at present. I offer more customized services than my peers. My skillset can target our niche better than competitors.
Your Target Market through this project
Who are your customers going to be? (i.e. what customers will you target through your online channels?)
- Customers who can’t come to your premises
- Women over 50 with interest in improved wellbeing
e.g. At the moment the majority of my clients are injured sports people or those recovering from an injury. I would like to target more people who are not into sport. My treatments are beneficial to non sports people also. I have also noticed more of my clients in the 20-25 age group want to make cashless payments and I need to be able to offer this service.
Scope of work to be carried out
What are the specific deliverables of the project relating back to the business objectives? Describe the work to be undertaken in this project.
- Development of ecommerce website with booking system
- Design a marketing campaign to target my audience at different stages of the marketing funnel.
- Facebook marketing campaign
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content strategy for next 12 months based on competitor analysis.
Internal resources brought to the project
• Money• Time• Knowledge – you know your customers, the market• Existing assets owned by business• Physical: premises / workshop / equipment• Human Resources: staff skills / expertise / experience / education• Financial: budget / stock inventory / customer databases & market research / any developed resources• Logo• Images – photographer or stock• Existing text (folder of content, blog posts, articles or other content that you own and want to show on site• Social media – FB, Insta. Twitter audiences
External resources brought to the project
- Specialist Website Design & digital agencies team who are focused on my sector (Wellmarkit.com)
- Events / fairs / markets / trade shows…
- Networks: customers / mentors / advisors / professional bodies
- Supplier / Distribution networks & channels
- Networking Groups
Market expansion potential
What impact will the trading online project have on your business (employment, revenue and ability to export)? Based on your target market and competitor analysis, how will this project help you grow your revenue? Export potential? Gain back lost market share to existing online traders? How will the project aid the business during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
- New sales channel
- Bigger market – Advertising to a wider audience and market
- Great export potential
- Increase in online turnover
- Efficiencies – time savings
e.g. Market expansion potential – this project can help me to grow the business and reach more people in my target market. New sales channel. My current services are focused on sports therapy & rehabilitation. I would like to offer my services to the wider community who also experience pain & discomfort. Great export potential. A stronger online presence will give me export potential as I can share my knowledge and specialist support with people remotely. (advisory sessions with prior clients who are abroad). I can also support new clients with conditions I specialize in treating. Increase in online turnover.
A stronger online presence will increase turnover as I can reach a wider audience. Offering online booking & payments will allow me to compete better with peers. I believe, I am losing potential clients as I have an inferior online presence and perhaps not looking as professional as them. Efficiencies. This project will generate significant time savings. (appointment scheduling, dealing with cancellations, time lost due to “no show’s” which I can fix by creating auto reminders). Want to work with one of the best marketing & website design teams on the country? We have affordable packages, packed with all of the tools you need to succeed in your online business journey.
Trading Online Voucher Webinar Links
Trading Online Voucher Questions & Answers
Can I attend an information session with a different Local Enterprise Office?
Yes. If you attend an information session with a different LEO, email confirmation of your attendance from that LEO to your local LEO and request a
link to your local LEO online application form.
I have attended a Trading Online Voucher information sessions, how long do I have to make an application?
Eligible businesses have 9 months from when they attended the information session to make an
My business has already been awarded a Trading Online Voucher (TOV), can I apply for another?
Yes, eligible business can apply for a second TOV. You must have drawdown the funding from your
original TOV and attended an information session within the last 9 months. If you haven’t attended a
training session within the last 9 months, you will need to attend one.
Must I supply three quotes with the application?
Yes. Failure to submit a complete application may delay the assessment process. If you are unable to
source three quotes, please submit a reason for not including the missing quotes when uploading the
rest of the documentation (this will be reviewed by assessors and they will
contact you if additional quotes are still deemed necessary).
Can I include website maintenance and/or hosting as part of my application?
If it is intrinsic to the project but not disproportionate in terms of funding amount, it may be supported.
How long will it take to process an application?
Correctly completed applications with all the necessary documentation take approximately 4 weeks
to process. Incomplete applications or missing documentation may delay the process.
Can I pay my developer / incur expenses before I have been approved a Trading Online Voucher (TOV)?
Expenses that are incurred before a TOV grant is approved cannot be claimed. Only expenses
incurred after the TOV has been approved can be included when claiming the grant.
I’m required to pay a deposit to my developer. My application is currently being assessed, can I include the expenses in my claim if my application is approved.
Expenses that are incurred before a TOV grant is approved cannot be claimed. Only expenses incurred after the TOV has been approved can be included when claiming the grant.
My business has been approved a Trading Online Voucher (TOV), how to I accept it?
If you’re application is successful, you will receive an email via our online application system
explaining what you need to do and the deadline for your acceptance.
I’ve missed the deadline date for the acceptance of my Trading Online Voucher (TOV), what do I do?
Contact your Local Enterprise Office, explaining the reason for the late reply and the TOV team will
advise next steps
I’ve been approved a Trading Online Voucher (TOV) and wish to change a supplier on my application form, what do I do?
If you have approved a TOV and wish to change to a supplier not included on your original
application, a new quote must be submitted via the online application form. Your LEO will review if this is eligible expenditure and, if yes, an email confirming the approved the changes will be
sent to the applicant via the online system.
PATH TO SUCCESS
Ready to take your business to new heights?
You are in the right place if you want to:
- Build your website and online marketing presence once and do it properly.
- Work with a team who focus on website design & marketing for Health & Wellness businesses like you. We work with your peers every day so we know what works, what your customers want and what your competitors are doing to succeed.
- Attract new clients, increase traffic & bookings.
- Be open 24/7 so clients can book / purchase & find answers to their questions or request a call back.
- Automated booking, payment, receipt issuance & accounting entries.
- Build your reputation and credibility with a professional presence.
- Showcase your authority and expertise
- Save money, time & energy by having automated & professional systems & processes.
- Eliminate cancellations & no-shows through auto-reminders & confirmations. No more empty mats.
- You want access to ongoing support and mentoring sessions from a caring, supportive team who exist to help your Healthcare / Wellness business thrive.
Book a call