The way many businesses operate has seen a dramatic shift over the past several years with more and more people working from home and the retail world shifting to a global market thanks to goods that can be purchased on-line.
Many customers are opting to do their shopping on-line and making purchases based on decisions made without ever leaving home.
Selecting a product and placing an order is as easy as visiting a website and paying for a product through a secure pay site and simply waiting for your purchase to be delivered.
Automatic tracking systems will keep you informed of where your package is, no matter where it the world it is being shipped from.
With this new global market at your fingertips, local business will have to adapt to a new way of doing business or at least enhance their visibility in the community.
Nottawasaga Futures is now accepting applications for their Storefront to On-line (S20) Program that is designed to teach traditional brick and mortar, home based business owners, and not-for-profit agencies how to extend their business online as an additional revenue stream. One-on-one coaching will help business owners execute and expect results in 90 days.
The S20 program provides education webinars, business tools and digital resources directly to the business owner and provides coaching to help them keep on track to reach their on-line goals.
“We are taking applications on a first-come first-serve basis,” explained Nottawasaga Futures CEO, Martin Kuzma. “The limit is 30 businesses in South Simcoe, which is our catchment area. There is no cost for business owners to be in the program.”
The program had an immediate response from local business owners eager to learn more and who are considering expanding their operation to include on-line sales.
While many business owners have enjoyed success with walk-in customers, learning to conduct business in an internet setting may be a brand new experience.
“Some people just aren't familiar with the internet and putting up a website,” Mr. Kuzma said. “We want to help them make sure their business will be successful. You just have to go on-line and register and we will be in touch with you. We teach you how to run an on-line business and include things like search engine optimization. We also help you to determine a long-term strategy.”
Opening an on-line business is just the start. From there you have to know how to make it visible to potential customers.
The program teaches things like product an service research, creating on-line content, and social media basics to connect with your potential customers.
The next step is monitoring your business performance on-line, which includes search engine optimization, Google analytics, and website best practices.
The program also informs business owners how to used cyber-security to keep their on-line business safe and how to receive payments for goods and services.
Nottawasaga Futures is also providing technical support for local business who were not able to register for the S20 program.
Spots are filling up fast so if you want to be part of this new program, you should act quickly and have your application submitted.
Visit the website at www.nottawasaga.com to learn more about the program and submit an application.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times