Business owners learning to become digital ready

DIGITAL READY: Digital Dandy owner Jen Murnaghan is passionate about improving the digital skillsets for business owners. Picture: Stefan Boscia
DIGITAL READY: Digital Dandy owner Jen Murnaghan is passionate about improving the digital skillsets for business owners. Picture: Stefan Boscia

One of the biggest challenges of running a 21st century business is creating a unified digital brand, according to Glass Manifesto co-owner Peter Bowles.

The contemporary glass artisan runs his studio at Breadalbane with fellow artist Anne Clifton, however they both admit that the transition to digital has been a tough one.

The duo operate a website for Glass Manifesto and “sporadically” post on its Facebook and Instagram pages. 

Attending the state government’s Digital Ready program on Tuesday showed the pair that their business was in need of professional help.

“The key thing is about engaging professionals where we’ve thought we could do the work ourselves – we need professionals to lift the whole game,” Mr Bowles said.

“[We need it for] the whole branding and the whole big picture stuff.

“We’re so engaged with our business as it is, to present the business externally is the missing thing for us.”

Tuesday’s Launceston session was conducted by Jen Murnaghan – owner of Hobart-based social media firm Digital Dandy.

Ms Murnaghan said the workshop was a hands-on experience, aiming to teach small business owners practical advice for creating a greater online presence. 

“We’re really focusing on visual content – what are the best practices around that and creating content overall,” she said.

“It’s about building confidence with how to use their smart phones or how they use social media to the best effect – how to maximise their time and improve their skills really.”

She believes Northern Tasmanian business owners are waking up to the necessity of connecting their companies to the online sphere.

“People are seeing the value and realising people need to invest and upskill if they are to be seen online and connect with their audience,” she said.

“That shows by the number of people coming to the workshops – there’s been quite a high demand.”

Ms Clifton said adding digital media promotion to her workload made running her business significantly more difficult.

“I’m particularly of the age group where I’m internet savvy, but I’m not internet interested,” Ms Clifton said.

“We’re having to learn a whole new language.”

Mr Bowles said creating an online presence translated into an extra 20 per cent workload on top of what was traditionally needed.

“As soon as people are in the gallery or see the work they immediately understand what it is that we do, but to convey that through social media is complicated and we’re not succeeding at that bit.”