Enda Kenny, When you are looking at potential options for Post Offices, do remember that any foray by a State body in to Retail will compete with existing SMEs. Years ago the Post Office decided to sell Greeting Cards and even offered prestamped cards for St Patricks Day, this caused hardship for both Greeting Card wholesalers and retailers like Brendan Proctor. A few years later the Post Office stopped stocking cards, although they still offer prestamped St Patricks Day cards.
Another example in our own business started last May 2011. The government is paying for Open Days all over the country http://www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/
where people learn to use Google Adwords and to host with Blacknight. The resultant websites attract little or no business in most cases and the site mentioned on their Home page as an example of success, actually says now that the FREE site does not bring them any business at all. Not only that, but by having this lightweight website they are no longer looking to the medium of the web to promote their business. This naive possibly cynical practice creates customers for Blacknight and Google through selling Adwords and Hosting, but damages real web opportunities for small business and the whole effort is sponsored by our own Government through the Enterprise Boards and An Post who add credibility to the promotion, but have no idea what they are getting into or how it will affect SMEs.What a wasted opportunity.
We are all for businesses getting online in any format, so this exercise does make SMEs somewhat aware what is involved in getting online and managing your presence, but it is a serious affair that needs to be done right by competent experienced providers who will dedicate th etim erequired. How many businesses open a new store for FREE, or build it themselves successful ?
Business is tough enough nowadays without having a well meaning Government department meddling in a way that simply damages SMEs ability to succeed. If we want to have some legislation changed, we would talk to a politician rather than talk to some guy in the pub who knows a ‘lot’ about politics.
Just an observation, but one I feel should be understood by people in power, so that they might focus this effort on promoting the web to SMEs rather than lead them towards an ineffective web solution.