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Gearing Up to the Digital Era

28 April 2015
Gearing Up to the Digital Era
Have a business of your own? Struggling to get an effective online presence for your business? Having a hard time finding new clients online? Then Google’s pop-up Digital Garage at the Leeds Dock (Clarence Dock) is the place to pick up some great advice, sharpen your digital skills and get geared-up for a whole new experience for your business on the Web, all for absolutely FREE!

We now live in a digital era where businesses both large and small depend significantly on the Internet to market themselves, get new customers and grow. In order to win amidst all the competition it is vital that you know your way around the Web and boost your digital skill and know-how. Google's pop-up Digital Garage functioning at Leeds Dock from March 2015 to September 2015 is a great opportunity to step your game up.

The Garage is an inspiring initiative by Google. Gori, a member of Google's Digital Garage explained:

It’s an attempt at giving a hand to local SMEs based in Leeds, Yorkshire and surrounding areas; at helping them with a digital boost or a ‘digital tune up’ as we like to call it, the key theme behind this unique venture is to help local businesses understand how the Web can offer a variety of tools in order to develop their businesses.

As a part of this effort the Garage offers you hour-long one to one mentoring sessions with skilled Google technicians who are ready to have a look at your website, your overall digital presence and talk you through ways and means to improve. They also offer bi-weekly training sessions running on two major elements:

The first is on ‘how to tell your story better online’, which mainly touches on social media. It is also about making your website striking, not only on computers but also on mobile devices, developing rich content, and learning about the importance of measuring success with analytics. The second main area is around ‘finding new customers online’ and understanding what ‘search’ is all about and getting the most out of it. It also concerns making your business more visible online so that new customers can find you. These sessions help you understand the bases of digital marketing, and teach you how to use online marketing tools to reach potential customers.

Why Leeds? “We at Google believe that the city is home to a diverse group of promising, small and medium businesses with incredible opportunity for growth”, emphasised Gori adding “Although the Digital Garage is currently in Leeds alone, Google’s larger initiative is to help SMEs across the country and work with other cities around the UK as well”. Working in a small team of 5 or 6 technicians who are also from Leeds and the surrounding areas, the digital garage is also an attempt at bringing in local talent to help the city’s flourishing small businesses.

This spacious and attractive venue on the dock with a stunning view also functions as a co-working environment which Google operate together with Hello Work so that anyone can use the venue for free with Wi-Fi, tea and coffee also available. In addition, they also encourage other organisations to deliver talks and training sessions at the Garage and are already working with groups such as Code Club and Raspberry Pi, through the offer of space to deliver training sessions.

“So far we are very happy with the initiative. We’ve got some great feedback and right now we are trying our best to help as many businesses as we can and are encouraging everyone to spread the good word”, ended Gori.

Interested? The process is fairly simple but will last only till September, so waste no time and log on to the Google Garage and register yourself for a free, one-to-one session with a technician or book in for a training session of your choice; or simply sign up to receive tips, training events and news about how you can give your business a digital tune-up and move up in the world of business.

Kam is a Business Writer for Leeds Living. Having joined in April 2015 she writes for the Strictly Business section and specialises in business editorials.