Small Businesses in Mid Ulster Learn Key Digital Skills at Marketing Masterclass
Ten businesses in Mid Ulster had the opportunity to receive specialist training on internet marketing, social media and selling online, thanks to a new training programme which took place in Dungannons’ Canos Restaurant recently.
The Digital Business Skills programme, which includes three modules in digital marketing, website development and social media, has been specifically designed to help small businesses build their knowledge of the Internet and the benefits of getting their business online.
Research has shown that, while small businesses have a huge role to play in growing the local economy in, many SMEs lack the online skills to compete with larger businesses. The course was facilitated by Lough Neagh Partnership and funded by Mid Ulster District Council.
A recent report by Lloyds Banking Group found that 36% of the UK’s small and medium sized businesses have no website and 20% have no online presence at all. Of those that are not online, the majority lack the technical skills they need to establish a web presence.
Eimear Kearney of Magnitude Digital Marketing, who delivered the Digital Business Skills training, commented: “Independent and small businesses are the lifeblood of our high streets across Mid Ulster, but the Internet and social media has transformed the local marketplace.
“Today’s customers expect to be able to research businesses and products online and on their smartphones, and this course is perfect for small businesses who want to attract new customers and claim their share of the booming Internet market.
“It’s easy for small businesses to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there about getting their business online , and this training is very much designed to build their confidence by debunking the myths, helping them understand which online tools are right for their business and making the whole process very clear and simple.
“Lots of businesses are already seeing the benefit of the Digital Business Skills programme – some have reporting sales boost of up to 10% following the training. If getting online adds only one extra sale per day, you could gain an extra £600 per month!”
Councillor Linda Dillon, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, said:
“With the advent of new technology, how our businesses sell and market themselves has changed dramatically in recent years, and will continue to evolve as digital platforms continue to develop.
“Ensuring that our businesses have the knowledge and skills to make best use of what’s available and to compete effectively, is crucial and I’m pleased that the Council has been able to support this programme and pleased at the take-up from local companies who recognise the importance of this practical training”.
The Digital Business Skills programme has been developed by National Skills Academy for Retail (NSAR), part of workforce development charity People 1st, in partnership with the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM). It is being rolled out across the UK through the NSAR ‘s network of skills shops and licensed trainers.
[Pictured is Lynda Dillon, Chair of Mid Ulster Council with Eimear Kearney, Lough Neagh Partnership along with the course participants; The Valley Hotel, The Cohannon Inn, Chocolate Fountains WPM, Heraldiccraft, Clearwaterhouse B&B, Ashbrook House B&B, Canos Restaurant, The McIntyre Gallery and Oona candles. Missing from the picture is The Royal Hotel.]
For more information, contact Eimear Kearney firstname.lastname@example.org who hosts open courses on a monthly basis across Northern Ireland.