Aussie firm takes on the Internet giants

An Australian company is taking on the might of tech giants like Google and Facebook to give small businesses a fighting chance of being seen online.

Founder of GoTheHand.com, Paul Edwards, said the concept was to make it a more level playing field for small business who struggle to be found online.

“The reality is most small businesses don’t have the budget to be heard or easily found online and so more than 60 per cent fail within the first three years,” Edwards said.

“Online marketing with Google, Facebook or coupon sites is expensive and can become a battle over who has the biggest budget and it’s always the smaller operators who lose out. There is a lot of focus on big corporations, but the reality is more than 90 per cent of businesses in Australia have less than five employees, yet this group are largely left to their own devices and very few succeed in the long term,” Edwards added.

“We wanted to even up the odds and give small businesses, people working from home, mumpreneurs or start-ups a better chance against their big competitors.”

The OnSale platform is designed to help people find businesses online and be able to see what they have on sale.

“It’s a new advertising platform and business directory which allows business owners to promote in their local area and around the country for less than $1 per day,” Edwards said.

“Importantly it also gives customers a range of payment options and with the increase in popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), it’s become critical for small-business owners to be easily found by customers wanting to use these services.”

Edwards said that if a business doesn’t appear in the top 10 listings on the first page of search results they’re virtually invisible online, and he is seeking to address that issue. He believes that small businesses need a better deal because:

  • Their small budgets mean less marketing: Most small businesses turnover less than $200,000 and nearly one quarter turnover less than $50,000 – leaving barely enough money to survive, let alone grow.
  • They have very limited funds to spend on graphics: Most small businesses don’t have the money to spend on branding, so OnSale empowers small-business owners to take control of their advertising by giving them tools and templates to create the professional ads and graphics.
  • They often don’t have a variety of pay options: Customers expect a number of different payment methods with Afterpay and Zippay now making up to 50 per cent of sales – if you can’t offer these services you can’t compete. The platform provides a marketplace where sellers can promote, and buyers can shop by all leading BNPL providers, all in the one place. There are also a number of other popular payment options, including Crypto.
  • They often don’t have staff for support: Worldwide, 60 per cent to 75 per cent of businesses are a one-man-band with no employees. Without co-workers, the small-business owner needs to be a jack-of-all-trades and can feel isolated and daunted.

“The biggest problem facing small businesses is not enough sales and no sales equals no profit,” Edwards said. “We’ve created the platforms where sole traders or small businesses can get the help they need to market themselves.

“OnSale helps them be found more easily online, rather than competing against big business who can afford search engine optimisation, Google ads or ads on Facebook.

“The reality is our economy is driven by small operators who are often forgotten and certainly not recognised for the critical role they play economically and in the community.”

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