Steven Bartlett's 'Digital SOS': Saving Businesses and Powering Growth
Renowned social media entrepreneur and TV figure, Steven Bartlett, is set to launch a series of documentary films, 'Digital SOS', in collaboration with Vodafone Business. This initiative arises from research revealing a potential £49.5 billion gap in the UK economy should a substantial number of small businesses struggle to thrive.
In this series, Bartlett engages with leaders of struggling small firms, offering them valuable insights on leveraging technology to streamline operations and enhance profits. Each episode showcases the practical utilisation of free business resources available on the Small and Medium Business Support website, demonstrating their potential to bolster profitability and drive growth.
This campaign is a response to concerning findings from research indicating that a quarter of all SMEs barely break even, with one in eight either breaking even or operating at a loss. Alarmingly, nearly one in three businesses fear potential closure within the next two years. Simultaneously, half of these small enterprises recognise the scope for improved profitability and efficiency through digital technology. However, 40% admit to a lack of know-how or access to support.
Steven Bartlett emphasises the fundamental role SMEs play in the economy and the pivotal need for them to embrace digital innovations. He highlights the untapped potential awaiting these businesses by honing their digital skills and utilising technology more effectively, aiming to inspire business owners to enhance their digital capabilities for a brighter future.
The first episode features Steven's visit to the Apex Gym in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, aiding founder Amelia Lawes, 28, in reviving the business. Established in 2018, the gym caters to individuals with disabilities and faced challenges typical of many SMEs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
To aid in stabilising the gym’s finances, Amelia set up a Go Fund Me page with a target of £10,000. Stirred by Amelia's dedication, the documentary reveals Steven's decision to contribute the entire £10,000.
Amelia Lawes shares her journey, highlighting the significance of a robust digital strategy in not only enhancing business prospects but also keeping pace in our digitally-driven world.
“Having opened my community gym in 2018, then trying to keep afloat like many other small businesses through the pandemic was super hard, and then trying to recover.
“This whole experience has been eye-opening, to clearly see all the benefits a sound digital strategy can have, in not only developing your business opportunities but also keeping you on trend in the digital world we now live in.”
Jo Wedlock from Vodafone Business UK acknowledges the multiple responsibilities shouldered by small business owners. Wedlock underscores the necessity for these owners to enhance their digital skills and introduces 'Digital SOS', a documentary series aimed at simplifying essential tactics vital for businesses to navigate challenging market conditions and drive growth.
This collaborative effort between Steven Bartlett and Vodafone Business stands as a beacon of hope, aiming to equip small businesses with crucial digital prowess for sustainability and success in an increasingly digital landscape.
Article by Manchester Evening News
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