When a close friend helped Kevin Simpson put an advertisement on Craigslist about his landscaping small business, within hours, he got four calls about possible jobs. For Kevin, it was an exciting first taste of what “getting online” could mean for his business.
After attending LEDC’s Getting Your Business Online workshop this week, Kevin hopes he can marry his 15 years of industry experience with a stronger online presence to take his small business K&K Landscaping Services to the next level.
“If I develop a website, if I put myself online, I know it will help my business,” he says.
Kevin was one of 20 entrepreneurs to participate in the workshop, which explored a host of low-cost online tools available to small businesses to raise their visibility and profile including blogs, social media, and consumer review websites.
Led by LEDC with the DC’s Connect.DC initiative, the training was offered as part of the Small Business Success Project. Since November, the project’s workshops have trained more than 200 entrepreneurs across the District of Columbia to develop the knowledge and skills to utilize technology tools and platforms to strengthen their small businesses. Topics include basic computing, web development, and client relationship management (CRM) software integration.
Guest speaker Marcus Bruno shared how his real estate business Bruno Real Estate Group has grown with the help of Facebook advertising and a custom blog through Wordpress.
“The Internet is not about hiding,” Marcus says. “It’s about giving.”
Next month, 21 DC-based businesses will receive hardware and software to complement their new skills and education at a special ceremony and press conference.
“Sometimes it can be a red flag when you don’t have an online presence,” said LEDC Small Business Development Director and trainer Marla Bilonick. “It’s the way business is done these days and it adds legitimacy to your business.”