If you peered in the window of Kathabeas in Smythesdale on a Monday afternoon over recent weeks you would have seen heads down, computer screens up, and doors shut. A group of enthusiastic Smythesdale businesses have been closing up shop early in order to learn about online sales and web design. They have been taking advantage of free DigiBiz training provided by Federation University Australia in collaboration with Golden Plains Shire Council.
The training has been focused on familiarising local businesses with online trading, basic principles of digital enterprise, and website design. There has been lots of chatter and sharing of information and ideas as the participants build their own websites, learn about search engine optimisation, online sales, and internet security.
The DigiBiz facilitators from Centre for eCommerce and Communications at FedUni have worked individually with each business to develop a website that promotes local products and services. The businesses are also working co-operatively to market Smythesdale village as a destination for local shopping and visitors.
Dianne from Chelmsford Hazelnut Farm has enjoyed the training.
“It has been great having Chris to lead us through the technical aspects of building a site, and Gerrie to assist with marketing and business strategy. I never would have believed that I had the capability to build my own website. But DigiBiz training is making it easy” said Dianne.
DigiBiz is part of an Australian Government funded program aimed at lifting online skills across the Central Highlands region. DigiBiz manager Gerrie Carr-MacFie commended the participants for being proactive and working collaboratively to promote Smythesdale as a destination for local and visitor shopping.
“An active website and social media platform that can be viewed easily on desktop, tablet and mobile phone is an important step in enticing technology savvy consumers to experience the retail offer available in Smythesdale. The use of broadband technology can entice locals to shop in their own town. Businesses like Kathabeas and Vintage Lady retail collectible gifts, clothing and furniture. These businesses are at the forefront of co-operative marketing. They understand that working together they can present a compelling reason for visitors to come into their individual business and spend time in other Smythesdale shops. We have more businesses wanting to take up our program. This reflects positive change and energy in the local business community.”
More information on FREE Digital Enterprise training activities can be found by clicking onto www.digibiz.net.au