BT pays millions to woo pandemic start-ups

BT spends hundreds of millions of pounds in securing army business from pandemic start-ups

BT is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in securing contracts with the army of start-ups that launched during the pandemic.

The telecoms giant will offer marketing services to encourage smaller new businesses to subscribe to its telephone and internet packages. BT has identified a £ 1.5 billion market in providing telecommunications for micro-businesses after setting up 800,000 new businesses in Britain last year.

He expects to spend a “big chunk” of the £ 500million set aside for his business-to-business arm on a new division called SoHo, which will target smaller “one-stop, home-office” businesses.

Investment: the telecoms giant will offer marketing services to encourage the smallest new companies to subscribe to its telephony and internet packages

Chris Sims, general manager of the SoHo unit, revealed that it will offer a service that makes it easy for small businesses to advertise on websites and social media, with BT acting as a middleman.

He said the service would be launched “in a few weeks” after a successful pilot project that saw retailers, plumbers and electricians advertise through the online tools.

Sims said the “simple” service would allow entrepreneurs to spend time in other areas: “Small businesses are running out of time.” You need to make the benefits and the return on investment very clear. What we want to do is help drive sales for these companies. ‘

Sims added, “The job market will also change, with more and more people choosing to work flexibly and entrepreneurs setting up their own organizations to do so.

“So we’re seeing significant growth in this market, especially over the next 10 years, as the older millennials come in and really work in fundamentally different ways than the more established workforce.”

The SoHo unit will launch with an “unbreakable” Wi-Fi plan where internet coverage automatically switches to 4G backup if a business’s broadband goes down.

It will offer digital telephone lines which will divert landlines to mobiles and transcribe voice messages. The UK’s analogue telephone network will be deactivated in 2025.

The unit also plans to offer cybersecurity support and digital training to its customers.

Over 95 per cent of UK private sector businesses, or around 5.7 million businesses, have up to nine employees.

BT said lack of experience, time and budget were preventing 2.4 million small businesses from running their own paid digital media campaigns, fueling its decision to offer marketing services.

BT study showed that while 64% of small businesses believe digital marketing is “vital to their survival and growth,” nearly 60% need more support when it comes to digital marketing skills.

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