THE Southern Star is proud to be hosting Google in one of Skibbereen’s historic buildings during the upcoming National Digital Week.
The Google ‘Digital Garage’ programme is an initiative to help Irish businesses attending the event learn crucial skills for the digital age and harness the power of the internet to reach more customers and grow faster.
The garage will be run by Google Ireland digital experts all day on Friday November 11th and Saturday November 12th in the Southern Star’s historic Lady’s Well Brewery building in Skibbereen, at the rear of its premises on Ilen Street.
The most recent IEDR dot ie Digital Health Index, which measures the health of Irish SMEs’ digital presence by analysing the number of digital assets (like websites, apps and social media accounts) owned by them and their perceived quality, found that 17% of Irish SMEs still have no digital assets and 55% of these don’t intend on building a website in the near future.
Marie Davis, head of the Google marketing solutions team in Ireland, said it’s really important that small businesses here can compete in the digital age. ‘Google in Ireland is a proven growth engine for small business. We believe that giving small business owners access to expert advice will help to strengthen Ireland’s reputation as the digital hub of Europe,’ she said.
‘At National Digital Week we will provide one-to-one business clinics tailored to all levels of digital know-how to show Irish businesses how they can get their business online,’ she added. ‘For businesses already online we will show them how to sell online, reach more people on social media and get their business noticed so they can grow and expand. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to hear from other digital garage participants on how digital has made a difference to their businesses and lives.’
Morgan O’Driscoll, who runs his online Irish Art Auction House, based in Skibbereen since 1994, took his business online in 2011 after realising he needed to realise the potential of the internet as a marketing tool, his business was the first in Ireland to hold online auctions, as well as live stream in-room auctions.
‘Before the internet our bidders were almost all based in Ireland. However, since incorporating an online business model we have sold to bidders in over 40 different countries including Argentina, Chile, Ghana, Russia, Dubai, France and the UK,’ he said.
Since 2011 O’Driscoll has seen his sales revenue grow tenfold. ‘The value in learning how to do things for yourself is immense, even if you decide to outsource your digital strategy to external experts or hire in-house expertise, it’s still really important that you know and understand for yourself what is possible, how to measure your success and see new opportunities for growth.’
The Digital Garage is open to anyone interested in learning or furthering their digital skills.