Guide for Salons on the Trading Online Voucher Scheme

July 18, 2022

Your local Enterprise Office will pay 50% of the costs up to a maximum of  €2500 to improve your Salon's online presence. Take a look at this short video produced by the Local Enterprise Office.

For every € you invest they will match it! This is a huge opportunity for those of you that have yet to get a website, an online shop or to obtain financial support for many other key areas of your business. In this blog, we will detail the key steps you need to take to take when applying for your Trading Online Voucher.

We have created an e-book on this subject that is a more complete guide. It contains tips, tricks and suggested answers on how to successfully apply for the Trading Online Voucher and ensure you get 50% towards your new website and online shop.

You can download your copy of “A Salon’s Guide to the Trading Online Voucher scheme” by clicking the link at the end of this blog.

1- Make sure your salon qualifies for the Trading Online Voucher

  • You must currently have a “limited” Online Trading presence
  • Employ Less than 10 employees
  • Have a Turnover of less than €2m
  • Must be trading for at least 6 months or more
  • Your Businesses must be based and located in the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) where you will make your application.

2 - Find your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and register for your information seminar & attend.

You must register and attend a half-day Information Seminar (usually online) on how to use and get the best value for money from the voucher.  This is mandatory before you can write and submit your grant application.  You must attend an information seminar in the same location as your business trades.

You can find out when a Seminar is due to take place by looking at the events area of your local LEO office: Here is an example of an events page for Wicklow: Local Events Calendar

You can find your local LEO office on this page Local LEO

3 - Gather the key business information you will need to submit your online voucher application

  • The date you attended your seminar and in which LEO
  • Business Contact Information.
  • Business Registered Address and Company (CRO) number.
  • Date the business Commerce trading and Number of Years trading.
  • Description of a current online presence.
  • Description of the business - (what it does, how many people, objectives etc).
  • Current Turnover

4 - Understand the evaluation criteria

The answers to your questions will be evaluated against a framework that will consider your application against the areas in the chart below and is weighted accordingly to importance.

Evaluation Criteria for a successful grant

5 - Draft your answers for the “Project suitability” and “Justification” questions.

It is important that you frame your answers so that they address the evaluation criteria listed above. You need to consider how the proposed project for which you are seeking finance will address 1 or more of these areas.  They will be looking for facts and examples.  Get our Salon’s Guide to the Trading Online Voucher scheme for suggested ways to answer these questions.

6 - Draft your project brief and get 3 supplier quotes

Think about your strategy. You can apply twice for the grant so maybe you want to break things down into phase 1 and phase 2.  You need to get 3 quotes from potential suppliers for your online project and these should include their company details and Vat number. Make sure you are very clear about what elements you need and only ask your supplier to quote these, otherwise you will be quoted for capabilities you don’t need and pay unnecessarily.  Use a  specialist provider in the beauty industry, particularly for salon website design and online shops for salons. They will save you time and money because they understand the needs of the industry, will have product images, and product descriptions to hand and will have the knowledge about treatments.

7 - Make your online application to your Local Enterprise Office (LEO)

Each country in Ireland has its own LEO so you will need to locate yours. Remember your application must be in the LEO that your business trades in and where you took your Information seminar.

Salon Solutions has helped many Salons through this process and has gained valuable insights on how to be successful with the minimum effort.  Download our comprehensive guide and find out:-

  • How your application will be evaluated and how to improve your score to maximise your chances of success.
  • Suggestions on the best way to answer the key questions in the application.
  • How to draft your supplier quotes to ensure you get just what you want without paying for things and services you don’t need.
  • Other things you can use your grant for that will surprise you.

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