Big Ideas’ Gary Brown helps out Limestone Clothing’s Regan O’Grady at the GAPDL website course.
Big Ideas’ Gary Brown helps out Limestone Clothing’s Regan O’Grady at the GAPDL website course. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Online presence a must-have for businesses

BUSINESSES need to have an online presence to be found these days.

Gone are the times when you turn to a Yellow Pages phone book or use the advertising in your mailbox to find what you need.

The first place people turn to now is often the trusty internet search engine such as Google, before checking out review sites and testimonials online.

Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd has been up-skilling local businesses to get the most out of online promotion, with the help of internet strategist Gary Brown from Big Ideas.

GAPDL chief Glenn Churchill said it was important for businesses to have an effective digital strategy.

"If you're not in the world of social media and technology, then you're not in the world," he said.

Gary ran a free workshop at CQUniversity last week to walk small business owners through the process of making their own website.

Cedar Galleries owner Angela Scheers said she had walked away with the bones of a good website.

"We contracted a web designer who got so bogged down in wanting to revamp our logo that we paid $2000 and got nothing for that," she said.

"In four hours, I just produced a third of our website sitting in this workshop."

Regan O'Grady, of Limestone Clothing, said the workshop had given her tips on content and what was important to have on a website.

Gary used free website developers Wix and Weebly to show how easy it was to make a website that was also smartphone friendly.

"Over two years, the number of people doing things on a smartphone has jumped from 5% to 23%," he said.

"There are a huge amount of people doing business on the go. Mobile technology has moved us forward."