Digital course helps small businesses get ahead online

A free course has assisted small businesses to capitalise on the online high street by becoming more web savvy. 

The Digital High Street Skills is a brand new tailor-made series of training programmes specifically designed to help small businesses develop their knowledge of the internet, social media and benefits of getting themselves online.

For each of the three modules those participating complete a simple pre-course questionnaire, receive a comprehensive workbook and have access to a series of downloads which give top tips on developing online strategies.

There was a diverse range of small traders that attended the course. Participating businesses included a hairdresser, a charity, sweet shop, car parts shop, and an art and framing shop.

Traders who completed the course were asked for their views. Roger Arthurs, of Going Spare, said: “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 honestly believe that attending the course has been the best thing I’ve done for years. I can’t believe it was free!”

David Bourne, of ‘Way Out There and Back’, added: “Good approach to building a new website and online program.”

Dianne Few, of ‘Bah Humbug Sweets’, said: “I’ve learnt about the extensive use of e-commerce can improve and extend my business and how to implement.”

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.” 

Xav Anderson, Commercial Relationships Manager at the Association of Town and City Management, said: “The training looks at the overall marketing positioning and unique selling point (USP) of a business, then combines this with a strategy to engage with social media to result in effective marketing whether it be digital or more traditional.”