More than 40,000 small businesses are now participating in the Digital Boost skills training initiative, and to make this digital education on the go more easily accessible, a new Digital Boost Live app has been launched.
The Mind Lab created the free Digital Boost Live application for iPhone and Android in partnership with the Ministry of Enterprise, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on the basis of a new Better for Business report, who assessed the impact that Digital Boost had on the small businesses participating in the initiative.
MBIE’s Director of Digital Boost, Malcolm Luey, said the latest report showed that 20% more small businesses surveyed have a website since Digital Boost started in January of this year.
“We know the content resonates. And now we want to make this content accessible to people who work more from their mobile devices. Digital Boost Live is designed to work for busy small business operators who need up-to-date digital information in the palm of their hand.
Mind Lab CEO Frances Valintine said her team is keenly aware of the pressures small business operators are currently facing with fluctuations in the COVID-19 alert level. In response, access to support through mental health support services, such as Clearhead, is now available to all Digital Boost users.
“More than ever, small businesses need to adapt to digital demands and our research confirms that they do too, with 83% of businesses surveyed indicating the importance of becoming more digital for their business to survive,” says Valintine, who is also the founder of the company.
The Digital Boost Live app is an extension of digitalboost.co.nz, with additional features such as a real-time view of learning progress, podcasts, push notifications and single sign-on.
Valintine says exclusive content, such as the Clearhead mental health podcast, gives business owners a simple, hands-free way to absorb key information from the experts. “Push notifications allow users to stay on top of events, while single sign-on saves time,” she says.
“Digital Boost users now have the ability to switch between the Digital Boost website and the app according to their unique and evolving needs. “
The Digital Boost Live application continues to provide access to:
· Over 500 short, three to five minute learning videos including how to use digital marketing to increase sales, real-life case studies, and question-and-answer sessions with experts.
· Podcasts with business owners.
· Hundreds of downloadable learning summaries.
· Case studies featuring Kiwi small business owners.
· Live question-and-answer sessions with experts and previous recordings.
Digital Boost Live is available for free now on the App Store and Google Play.
Clearhead Mental Health Support for Small Business
· All Digital Boost users now have full access to mental health support services through Clearhead. This service is also only available through a paid subscription and is used by companies such as Foodstuffs, TSB and MSD.
· Clearhead founder Dr Angela Lim says COVID-19 lockdowns have had a dramatic effect on the mental health of small business owners. Clearhead identified a direct correlation between blockages and anxiety among its users last year, when 50.2% of users identified anxiety as their most common emotion after level 4 lockdown.
· During recent blockages, Clearhead has experienced a significant increase in emotional outbursts and alcohol use as coping behavior. Lim says this spike could be due to the stress of COVID-19 returning to the community, sparking a lot of feelings and trauma from the lockdowns of 2020.
Digital Boost users can sign up for Clearhead at https://digitalboost.clearhead.org.nz/
Digital Boost Impact to date
- A Better for Business report measuring the impact of Digital Boost from June 2021 was published at the end of September.
- Since signing up, 70% of users feel more confident about the prospect of becoming more digital by participating in Digital Boost, while 80% of respondents would recommend Digital Boost to others.
- In six months, Digital Boost has resulted in a 20% increase in web presence for small businesses and a 21% increase in e-commerce presence among Digital Boost users. The use of other cloud services or software increased by 20% and the use of cloud payroll increased by 16%.
- Since the launch of Digital Boost, MBIE has also measured an increased recognition of the importance of digital among small businesses. As of October 2020, only 42% of all New Zealand businesses wanted to become more digital, while 83% of Digital Boost registered businesses going more digital was a high priority for their business.
- 93% of registered businesses said they intended to continue using Digital Boost with little or no change.
Other useful links: Digital Boost and The Mind Lab
www.govt.nz – your guide to finding and using New Zealand government services
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