Businesses great and small are struggling throughout the UK at the moment, but the good news is that there are a few who are bucking the trend and finding success.

British micro-businesses make up 96% of all UK enterprises and currently account for over a fifth of the UK economy, so it’s reassuring to learn that many of them are managing to make money in the current climate.

In fact, some of these small enterprises, particularly those who’ve launched online, are positively thriving.

What’s more, the number of these SMEs are growing by the day as people look for quick sources of revenue in the face of looming redundancies. Domain registrar GoDaddy has reported a staggering 14% increase in businesses signing up to sell their wares online over the past year as footfall continues to stagnate and decline on our high streets.

We meet one of the thousands of small business owners finding their fortune during the pandemic online, and reveal how setting yourself up on the web could help you make a living too.

Online micro-businesses have increased by 14% as footfall declines on our high streets

Cleo Morris is a 27-year-old entrepreneur from Birmingham. She’s no stranger to the world of business, having headed up her own marketing consultancy straight out of university in 2014.

Cleo Morris, founder of MyDine Catering

But Cleo is also passionate about cooking, and spent a couple of years working as a chef where she learned the tricks of the trade and the techniques behind creating mouthwateringly delicious food.

So, when her father Errol – another avid cook – announced that he’d love to set up a catering company, Cleo took the reins and launched MyDine in 2017, a healthy Caribbean fusion food company which caters for corporate events and creates nutritious meals for home delivery.

Like many businesses around the world, Cleo was forced to adapt when lockdown was announced earlier this year, and the corporate catering arm of MyDine had to go on hold. But after a brief blip, the meal delivery side seems to have really taken off.

‘As you can imagine, MyDine pretty much came to a standstill in March, but fortunately we’ve started to see things pick up again,’ explains Cleo. ‘Now we’re seeing a rise in meal deliveries which we’re sending out across the country.’

While Cleo has a loyal customer base of elderly people and fitness-conscious millennials – who love the customisable menu options MyDine offers, where you can choose your favourite proteins, veg and carbs for each meal – she’s found being online has been a key component in helping her thrive during the pandemic.

She says: ‘I think the pandemic has sped up the inevitable move towards a digital world. For me, I use my website as a vehicle to get seen by millions of people across the UK – it helps present my business to the masses.’ 

MyDine customers can customise their meals, choosing different proteins and vegetables to make up their dinners which are delivered chilled directly to their doorstep

For a small Birmingham-based business, this massive scope carries huge potential, enabling Cleo to sell on a national rather than local level – an advantage which has really come into its own during a time where many of us are confined to our homes, or simply find it safer to shop online.

To make sure MyDine is seen by as many people as possible, Cleo hosts her site with GoDaddy.

‘We use GoDaddy for its Website + Marketing service; but I’ve used them for years now and would recommend them every time because they’re reliable and reputable,’ explains Cleo.

Customers who used GoDaddy’s Website + Marketing product saw an average increase of 13% in revenue over 12 months

‘When I researched companies to host my site, GoDaddy came out top in the results. Plus, while I now understand a bit of web design, when I first started out their system was by far the simplest; it’s ideal if you’re completely new to running a business online.

‘They also have a 24 hour support service. I’ve been working at three in the morning on a project and I’ve been able to call a human being to get the support I needed, which is much better than being assigned a ticket and a robot.’

Errol Morris and his daughter Cleo, the brains and chefs behind Caribbean fusion food company, MyDine

The particular GoDaddy package Cleo has chosen has probably gone some way to the success she’s experienced this year. After all, customers who used the Website + Marketing product saw an average increase of 13% in revenue over 12 months.

But as she says, it’s also one of the many packages available to help people launch an online enterprise of their own regardless of their expertise – and it doesn’t cost the earth, either.

With free trials available, and packages starting from as little as £6.99 a month, the Website + Marketing service automatically builds a professional online store for you, complete with payment and shipping options – all you need to do is give it your personal touch.

Businesses can also use marketing tools to boost your visibility on search engines and social media sites, as well as manage your sales and inventory. Essentially, all the complexities of business and website coding are dealt with for you, so you can make a low risk investment towards a venture which could change your life.

Find out more about launching an online business of your own by visiting GoDaddy today, or join a free GoDaddy webinar .





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