CDI Alliance has been working with Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Business Lincolnshire & Lincolnshire County Council to help them identify digital concerns that effect the Visitor Economy. Ongoing work has identified that “over half of tourism businesses” in Lincolnshire are “interested in improving their digital adoption” as they see this as a way of recovering lost revenue and online training relating to websites and social media is the most popular method of strengthening these digital skills.

Over the past five years, we have empowered over 100 tourism businesses across the north. Our support has included individual mentoring as well as insightful training sessions & masterclasses, which we are increasingly delivering online.

We believe that digital elements like online bookings, card payments and social media marketing are essential nowadays for tourism companies to attract and convert customers. And yet, many business owners still hold back from making these changes to how they do business.

What’s holding businesses owners back from going digital?

From our experience, the most common reasons business owners and managers don’t switch to digital processes are a lack of understanding of how their customers are finding information and how they can make this smoother to gain sales.

Whether it’s believing that most customers would still rather ring up to book rather than sign up online or thinking that their target age group are not on social media, there are often misconceptions that limit growth.

To get businesses on the right track, our team of associates deliver Business Lincolnshire’s specialist support programme, which SMEs can access through their Growth Hub advisor. After meeting businesses owners, we take the time to identify where they need help and draw on our collective expertise to fill the gaps in their knowledge or experience.

A masterclass or one-to-one can illuminate the missing piece in the puzzle for business owners or employees. We’ve found that delegates grow in awareness of what’s possible and take away clear actions on how they can increase sales through digital tech.

If you’re a Growth Hub Advisor in the North of England, be sure to point your mentees in our direction and we’ll be pleased to share which digital masterclasses or training programmes they can access.

Which areas are most in need of a boost?

Both rural and coastal businesses often struggle much more with digital tech than their urban competitors.

To rectify this, we have been delivering our “Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing” to the visitor economy businesses located on the east coast of Lincolnshire on behalf of the Coastal Communities Fund. Over six weeks, we cover how to implement digital technology in ways that make small and medium size businesses more profitable. This might include optimising their website, choosing better-suited devices, or increasing their social media presence.

The participants of the masterclasses have got to know each other and formed great knowledge-sharing communities which help them simultaneously to grow.

We are building on this success amongst rural and coastal businesses by now delivering similar sessions and support in Cumbria and Yorkshire, as well as continuing in Lincolnshire. If you work with or are supporting small and medium businesses who need better digital processes, reach out to us at enquires@cdialliance.co.uk.