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Bay of plenty JUNE/JULY 2017 VOLUME 2: ISSUE 12 WWW.BOPBUSINESSNEWS.CO.NZ FACEBOOK.COM/BOPBUSINESSNEWS Google NZ to bring workshops to the Bay Does your company’s website, or information about your products and services show up right away when people Google your company? If not, you could well be missing out on business opportunities. Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City Council’s Digital Enablement Project (DEP) is bringing Google New Zealand’s Small Business team to Tauranga to help address the problem. By DAVID PORTER Google’s team will be running morning and afternoon workshops on July 13 at Basestation co-working space in central Tauranga to provide small business owners with step-bystep directions on how to set up and improve the information that appears about their companies online. It is understood to be the first time Google has brought its New Zealand team together for a regional workshop session. It will take business owners through using online listing and advertising services, along with the analytics to make decisions about where they should invest to improve their digital presence, make sales and improve their customers’ experience. According to online advertising specialists Adhesion, only about 30 percent of New Zealand businesses currently use Google Adwords, because it is seen by many small business owners as overly complex. There is also a reticence on the part of small to medium-sized business owners to outsource their online advertising, which means that of those which do use the product, 60 percent do not have success because they do not know how to use it effectively, how to generate consistent results, or how to measure ad campaigns accurately. One of the goals of these workshops is making it easier for small businesses to progress in learning how to get seen online and reap the benefits. Having Google’s team come together to help achieve this goal, here in Tauranga, is a significant opportunity for our region’s business owners.” – Jo Allum, Venture Centre “Using Google’s tools and using them well is one of the essential elements of becoming a digitally enabled business,” says Jo Allum, co-founder of Venture Centre, the organisation implementing the DEP on behalf of the councils. “One of the goals of these workshops is making it easier for small businesses to progress in learning how to get seen online and reap the benefits. Having Google’s team come together to help achieve this goal, here in Tauranga, is a significant opportunity for our region’s business owners.” In addition to providing knowledge and skills training, Venture Centre’s own team is also keen to know exactly how these workshops make a difference in helping business owners reach their Google NZ’s Ross Young: Bringing Bay businesses up to digital speed. goals, and whether they will mprove an owner’s ability to apply new digital knowledge to get results. “We hope to identify what may hold business owners back from applying their learning,” says Allum. “Do they find they are able to get started when they go back to the workplace? Do they need more training or additional help? Have they learnt enough to confidently partner with local digital service providers?” Allum says the follow-up to the workshops, through the surveys and assessments that are part of the DEP process, are as important as the learning services themselves. The project, currently in its initial pilot stages in Tauranga and Western Bay, was launched in May and has already seen around 70 businesses participate in the free online digital maturity assessment available at www.poweringon.nz , and at four initial “Start here” digital journey workshops held across the region in May. Preliminary reporting from the assessment indicates that 40 percent of business owners in Tauranga and Western Bay do not feel they have the right knowledge and skills to get the best from technology in their business. Information collected during the DEP’s preparatory stage from local digital service providers last year, found that many business owners “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” The project’s aim is to identify the nature of the learning, capability and business growth gap, and begin work to close it in order to make the most of central government’s digital investment in the region. That includes the new fibre connectivity being rolled out in the region at a cost of more than $17 million. “Just as a business owner a decade ago couldn’t afford to not have a landline, it’s really important now for small businesses to be found online,” Ross Young, Google’s Public Policy and Government Relations manager, told the DEP launch at Tauranga Art Gallery last month. “If you aren’t online, you are invisible to a whole raft of potential customers.” Continued on page 3 Need a Meeting Room? Multiple Size Options Free Parking Half / Full Day from $100 Entertainment | Conferences | Exhibitions | Catered Events | Marketing | Event Management BOOK NOW asbbaypark.co.nz