Strabane businesses will have the opportunity to learn more about the digital world following the announcement of the ‘Get Your Business Online’ programme.
The project is a joint collaboration between the Strabane Town Forum and the Strabane Business Improvement District (BID), set up to help entrepreneurs ‘tell their story’ – informing people about their products and services, reinforcing their brand, and encouraging both return and new custom through the online market.
The ‘Get Your Business Online’ programme will consist of four workshops and two mentoring programmes. The workshops will cover the following themes:
Getting Your Business Online – Tuesday 8th October (Strabane Council office)
Setting Up a Small Business Website – Wednesday 16th October (Strabane Library)
Social Media Fundamentals – Wednesday 23rd October (Strabane Council office)
SEO, Analytics and Pulling It All Together – Thursday 7th November (Strabane Council office)
All participants must be located in Strabane town, though the project is open to entrepreneurs and SMEs in all sectors, and all they have to do is commit to all four of the workshops, which are completely free, in order to progress to the mentoring element of the programme.
Those who complete the four workshops will then be eligible to apply to receive one-to-one mentoring in the design and delivery of websites, and on developing 10 bespoke social media plans.
Speaking at the launch, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Michaela Boyle said it was an exciting opportunity for Strabane businesses to learn from the experts about how to boost their marketing potential.
“This is a brilliant chance for more traditional businesses to learn more about the operation and value of promoting themselves online.
“The internet is such a powerful tool in the modern world, so making the most of the resources on offer is vital in ensuring that you are getting the maximum out of your business,” she said.
“The Council are committed to giving local businesses the best chance at continuing success, and, with the assistance of the Strabane Town Forum, the ‘Get Your Business Online’ programme is indicative of that, and I would encourage any businesses who feel they would benefit from the workshops and mentoring to get involved.”
Michael Kelly, Chair of BID, explained that while some businesses may already have established themselves online, the programme will provide a more in-depth analysis of the tools on offer.
“The Strabane Business Improvement District has always been focused on offering local businesses the best chance to put themselves at the forefront of their market, and this programme is another step in doing that.
“Whether it’s a website, a blog, a profile page or a social media presence, utilising the online world is effectively a must have part of business now.
“While some may have a small online presence, they may not be fully aware of the key ingredients for successful online marketing, such as search engine optimisation, user functionality, market intelligence gathering and creative design.
“In partnership with the Strabane Town Forum, we are now offering these workshops and mentoring programmes to help entrepreneurs ‘tell their story’ and to help them with further growth.”
Sinead Lynch, Derry City and Strabane District Council Business Officer, encouraged businesses to get involved in the ‘hugely beneficial’ programme.
“The implementation of this project is very important for assisting small businesses in Strabane to sustain and grow through effective marketing of their products and services, which will then enable greater competitiveness in wider markets.
“As we have seen in the last few decades, developing an online presence is central to growing a company’s audience and customer base. Through the internet, businesses have the opportunity to reach out to new customers around the world.
“The ‘Get Your Business Online’ programme provides the right help and guidance for those businesses who are new to the digital world.
“We want to provide the tools for entrepreneurs, micro businesses and social enterprises to develop a professional online presence to enable effective marketing of their products and services, which will be hugely beneficial in the long run.”
To register your interest in the ‘Get Your Business Online’ programme, please contact Sinead Lynch on firstname.lastname@example.org.