Great Gift Company founder offers advice for staying ahead online

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So you’ve got a business. And you’re online. Great. Big deal. Now what? How do you compete and stay ahead of your competition in the increasingly competitive world of e-commerce?

According to Start-Up Britain, more than 45,000 new businesses have already been set up in the UK since the start of  2015. Many of these businesses are likely to want to market themselves on the internet and join the estimated 150,000 businesses that already sell their services or products online. The real difficulty comes when they try to attract, communicate and sell to customers. Gone are the days when it was enough just to open up the doors of a web-shop or place an ad on Google Adwords.

The world of online retail is exhilarating and it’s moving at warp speed, powered by the constant developments in technology, globalisation and consumer expectations. Business owners are inundated, on a daily basis, with information about how to grow their business online. Such advice is often served to them from a great height by someone who has already succeeded and is writing from the deck of a private yacht or it’s regurgitated theory dished out cold by a graduate with no practical experience.

Mette Downer is an experienced entrepreneur and public speaker who is involved in the daily, hands-on running of www.thegreatgiftcompany.co.uk; an e-commerce retailer specialising in Unusual Gifts. Having started in the depth of the recession, Mette has put The Great Gift Company on a meteoric growth path which has seen the company and Mette personally acknowledged by industry peers and customers alike. Most notably, Downer has been voted by the retail industry as being in the Top 5 in the Buyers Power 30 Award 2015.

“When I was first asked to speak on the subject of Staying Ahead Online, I was struck and concerned by how many business owners turned up, how confused and lost many of them were about making it online and how keen they were to learn. I was overwhelmed by the number of questions I was asked and how difficult many of them were finding it to make a success of their online business,” said Downer.

“I don’t know it all but I do have a lot of business experience and through The Great Gift Company I am working with all these questions on a daily basis. I know what works and what doesn’t. I have tried it and put my own money into it so this is not just theory,” said Downer. “It’s hugely satisfying for me to share some of that knowledge with other e-commerce businesses and that’s why I’ve now launched www.stayingaheadonline.com as a platform for businesses to learn how to stay ahead online”.

Downer has written a guide which gives readers the basic principles required to succeed online and also writes a fortnightly newsletter which is designed to provide online businesses with bite-sized, practical advice and projects which they can implement for immediate benefit.

As one entrepreneur tweeted to Downer following her speech this Sunday at the NEC Spring Fair “Thanks for the great talk. Jargon-free, useful and motivational. Excellent!”