Host Website and Social Media Classes for Local Businesses
GOAL: Encourage small local businesses to develop websites and to use social media, e-commerce, and other advanced uses of broadband and technology.
DESCRIPTION: For small businesses, an online presence and the use of social media are vital to stay competitive in the twenty-first century. A website and social media are not just for companies that have the experience, staff, or budget; any small business can tap into these resources. Training should be provided to small businesses regarding the use of websites and social media within that small business. Website topics should range from starting a basic website to more advanced topics such as e-commerce. Social media topics should include a variety of social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Broadband empowers small businesses to achieve operational scale more quickly by lowering start-up costs through faster business registration and improved access to customers, suppliers, and new markets. According to Connected Nation’s 2012 Jobs and Broadband Report, businesses that are using the Internet bring in approximately $300,000 more in median annual revenues than their unconnected.
Work with the local chamber of commerce and/or the libraries to expand on existing programs that promote e-commerce, such as free websites and social media development, within the small businesses of the community including those involved in agriculture.
Partner with providers to sponsor workshops. (Providers may be willing to sponsor events since small business workshops will likely lead to increases broadband adoption and use).
Identify regional and community partners with resources and expertise to assist the community in producing “free” website and social media workshops.
Schedule workshops and advertise classes via local media.
Chamber of commerce/economic development organization; Libraries; Community College; Broadband providers; IT/Technology organizations; Local SCORE representatives
The Creative Collection http://www.thecreativecollective.com.au/social-media-training-course
On-Site Technology Training for Small, Rural Michigan Businesses: http://reicenter.org/projects/completed-projects/digital/on-site-technology-training-for-small-rural-michigan-businesses-2012.
Importance of Tech for Small Businesses: http://brightside.cedam.info/episodes/episode-11/.
Revenue Trends for Small Businesses: http://connectmycommunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Small_Business_Infographic-FINAL.pdf
Google Helps Businesses Get Online with Free Resources: http://connectmycommunity.org/project-view/google-helps-businesses-get-online-with-free-resources/.
Boosting Business with an Online Presence: http://connectmycommunity.org/project-view/boosting-business-with-an-online-presence/.
Building E-Commerce in Wright County, IA: http://connectmycommunity.org/project-view/building-e-commerce-in-wright-county-iowa/
Harbor Springs, MI Goes Social: http://connectmycommunity.org/project-view/harbor-springs-michigan-goes-social/
Resources for Small Business e-Commerce Development: http://srdc.msstate.edu/ebeat/small_business.html#.
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