One of the toughest challenges for mom-and-pop businesses is to create and manage an online presence and use that to attract customers.
That’s where the Google Get Your Business Online program comes in.
Google is partnering with the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce to reach small business owners through the program, which includes hands-on workshops. Through September 2018, about 100 South Oklahoma City-area businesses had worked with the program, covering basics such as how businesses can take ownership of their Google profiles and create proper online listings, said Liz Cromwell, program development director for the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
“The mission of Google’s Get Your Business Online program is to help small businesses get online and grow,” said Justine Benisch, product marketing manager of Get Your Business Online, a Grow with Google Program.
The Chamber knew there was a need for a program like this because local business owners continually said in surveys that they needed to learn more about how they could improve the way they market themselves online.
“The Chamber has recognized the desire and need of the businesses they work with in South Oklahoma City to learn digital skills and has taken the steps to facilitate training using the resources and tools offered by Google,” Benisch said.
The program started in 2017 and has featured several sessions with a Google trainer. The businesses participating in the classes are often independently owned and have five employees or less.
“It’s been a great thing,” Cromwell said. “So many small businesses are masters of their craft, but not the everyday business of things. This is designed to improve their online presence and help them be found online.”
The program has provided in-person assistance for nearly 250,000 small businesses since its inception in 2011 and even more through its website gybo.com, Benisch said.
“The Get Your Business Online program strives to help businesses develop their online skills so that they can be found when customers are looking for them online,” Benisch said. “The program offers introductory lessons in a variety of Google tools and products geared toward small businesses, including (but not limited to) Google My Business, Google Ads and Google Analytics.”
Although businesses of all sizes can take advantage of the program, it is primarily geared toward small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand their technology-related skills and understanding, Benisch said.
“The fact that an organization like Google puts money and resources towards small businesses really shows the value of the economic force they want small business to have,” Cromwell said.