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Press Release | 23 Feb 2021

Small businesses need to level up their digital capabilities in order to survive pandemic, Vodafone research finds

Small businesses need to level up their digital capabilities in order to survive pandemic, Vodafone research finds

Vodafone UK is continuing its support for small businesses with an offer of free* broadband for 12 months on a 36-month contract and a chance to win a social media marketing boost in its Shout Out for Small Businesses campaign.

  • Research from Vodafone reveals 71% of small businesses are relying solely on digital sales to generate income during lockdown.
  • 84% say they are keen to invest more in online marketing in order to reach customers.
  • Facilitating more remote working for employees (76%) is a priority for small businesses as the UK outlines its roadmap to recovery.
  • 77% are keen to enhance their cyber-security capabilities in order to better protect their business and customers online.
  • Vodafone is continuing its support for small businesses with an offer of free broadband for 12 months on a 36-month contract (offer closes 28th February 2021) and a chance to win a social media marketing boost in its Shout Out for Small Businesses campaign (last date for entries is 26th February 2021).

United Kingdom: As small businesses across the UK wait to hear how they’ll be affected by next week’s budget, research unveiled by Vodafone has revealed that 71% are relying solely on their online sales to generate income during lockdown. The mandated closure of physical stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many have had to transition their operations online in order to continue servicing customers.

Signalling a willingness to embrace the societal and technological changes that have been accelerated by the pandemic, 84% of small businesses surveyed by Vodafone say they are keen to invest more capital into online marketing in order to target a broader customer base.

Beefing up digital security (77%) and facilitating more remote working for employees (76%) were also high on the list of priorities for small businesses looking to bounce back in 2021. Last year Vodafone unveiled the V-Hub by Vodafone small business digital support platform which provides thought leadership, webinars, training resources and free access to an adviser – either by phone or web chat – to provide guidance in these areas.

Vodafone is continuing to support small businesses during the pandemic. In January 2021, Vodafone offered small businesses 12 months free broadband (*with just a £20 set-up fee exc. 20% VAT) which remains available to small businesses (less than 50 employees), including existing Vodafone UK customers who are due an upgrade, until 28 February 2021.

In addition, Vodafone has launched ‘Shout Out for Small Businesses’ a new campaign offering small businesses the opportunity to win a free digital marketing boost on Facebook and Instagram alongside promotion on Vodafone’s own social media accounts. Small businesses have until 26 February 2021 to enter. Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges, including Enterprise Nation Founder and CEO, Emma Jones CBE; Vodafone UK’s Head of Small Business, Andrew Stevens; and former Dragons’ Den investor, entrepreneur and V-Hub adviser Piers Linney.

Piers Linney, said: “This research from Vodafone highlights just how important digital is for the business sector. Without a robust online presence and strategy in play, businesses simply run the risk of failing prematurely. It’s great to see so many small businesses embracing digital ways of working in order to ensure their long-term survival.”

Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “It’s great to see so many resilient and forward-thinking small businesses across the UK continue to level up on their digital capabilities in order maximise their online operations. There are more than 5.9 million small businesses operating in the UK today and they will play a key role in the resurgence of the economy after COVID. We will continue to stand side-by-side with them providing the guidance, tools and solutions they require to stand the best chance of survival.”

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

A small business is one with less than 50 employees.

The small business broadband offer of 12 months free broadband (plus £20 set-up fee, excl. VAT) is available on a 36-month plan to all small businesses (1 – 50 employees), including existing Vodafone customers who are eligible to upgrade, across the UK until 28 February.

Vodafone has also collaborated with Facebook Blueprint and LinkedIn to provide a curated list of free courses through the V-Hub by Vodafone small business digital support platform:

LinkedIn Learning – available until the end of March.

The curated list of Facebook Blueprint training courses.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of October 2020, we have 5G in 57 locations in the UK and 193 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population. And in October 2020, Vodafone was named Network Provider of the Year by readers of leading technology advice website, Trusted Reviews.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Email: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587