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Getting Irish Business Online is a partnership between Google, Blacknight Internet Solutions, An Post and the County & City Enterprise Boards aimed at the 40% of Irish SMEs including sole traders that do not have a website or an online presence. A few weeks ago, I was delighted to be asked by Limerick City Enterprise Board to be a trainer for this programme. I was also asked to deliver the training in County Clare and North Tipperary. This blogpost is for anyone now thinking about signing up for a free website and the training which is aimed at helping small businesses to set up and manage a site that works for them. Click here for details of how to book to attend.
This is a cool one minute video that summarises how to get a Website from Getting Business Online.
Will I get a real website at the end of the training session?
Yes. The training session is only 3.5 hours. The objective is for you to have a website for your business at the end of the workshop (plus some additional hours of work to populate your site with content). It will go live within 24 hours of clicking the BIG GREEN PUBLISH BUTTON. After that you can update it at any time.
Before you come along to the session, a certain amount of preparation is required. You should think about what you would like your website to do:
- Have a look at your competitors or similar businesses with websites anywhere around Ireland.
- Think about what your customers and potential customers will want to read about.
You should know how many pages you want on your website and the key messages.
How easy and hassle free is getting a website?
The aim is to make it very easy but you’ll be the judge. The training will bring a small group through the process step by step. If you are familiar with the web and have any experience of email, powerpoint or facebook you will easily learn how to build a website – Blacknight have taken all the hard work out of it so that you don’t need to be a technical whizkidd to build your website using the Blacknight tool. After the training Google and Blacknight offer lots of ongoing support. At the same time the website will have all the latest features such as Google Analytics, YouTube videos, Search Engine Optimisation, Google Maps, Twitter Feeds etc. If you don’t understand some or even all of the previous terms, don’t worry as they will be explained on the day. In the meantime, you can check out a short video on how the Google Search Engine works.
So what do I need to do before going to the Getting Irish Business Online training session?
I created a sample page using the Blacknight tool.
Some tips before attending the training:
- On the day you will be asked to select a URL. This will be your web address – you can select a .com; .eu; .biz; or .co; address. For Hughes & Associates, I selected startuphughes.biz as my business is all about startups. My advice is to pick a URL that is short, easy to spell, memorable, and associative of your business. So have a think about your URL in advance. But URLs are subject to availability. You will have a few minutes to decide on the day but it can’t be changed.
- You will probably want to add photos or images to include your logo to your site. If you do bring them along on the day.
- You can have have links to your Facebook Business Page, Twitter and/or LinkedIn so again just have web addresses to hand.
I would also suggest that you review the Getting Business Online website.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Looking forward to delivering the training and the publication of lots of Limerick websites. Comments welcome!
Donncha Hughes (@donnchadhh)