SMALL businesses have been given a boost in their online trade thanks to a free course which helped them to become more web-savvy.
The Digital High Street Skills is a new tailor-made series of training programmes specifically designed to help small businesses develop their knowledge of the internet, social media and understand the benefits of getting themselves online.
Participating businesses included a hairdresser, a charity, sweet shop, car parts shop, and an art and framing shop.
Roger Arthurs, from Going Spare, a car parts shop in Littlehampton, said attending the course was ‘the best thing’ he’d done in years.
“It would be almost impossible to improve the training – it is great as it is. I have been highly impressed by the trainer and I can’t believe it was free.”
John Edjvet, Arun District Council’s Littlehampton town centre regeneration officer, said: “Many small businesses and retailers often see the internet and social media as something for the big players.
“This course was designed to show that even the smallest of businesses can benefit from increasing their digital profile.
“So whether that is promoting their business through digital marketing or actually trading online, courses like this can really help traders to hone their internet and social media skills.
“One of the key messages of the course was to focus on the customer, not just the product.”
David Bourne, of Way Out There and Back, an art gallery and jewellery shop in Littlehampton, said the course was a ‘good approach to building a new website and online program’.
Dianne Few, of Bah Humbug Sweets in Littlehampton, added: “I’ve learnt the extensive use of e-commerce can improve and extend my business and how to implement.”
For each of the three modules of the course, participants complete a simple pre-course questionnaire, receive a comprehensive workbook and have access to a series of downloads which give tips on developing online strategies.
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