Author: Greg Taylor

Business finance: Get switched on to help your business grow

In his regular business banking post our CFO Greg Taylor follows on from a recent post about getting online to help your business grow with information on some free training and resources for Hunter business people. 

Last week we talked about ensuring your customers can access your websites from portable devices.

If that got you thinking about all things digital for your business, Hunter Region Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) and Austraining Business Institute are delivering the Hunter Digital Enterprise Program. Best of all, everything is FREE!

According to the Hunter BEC, around 30 per cent of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have a web presence, only around 20 per cent use the web to place orders, and 41 per cent  receive orders via the web.

New research commissioned by PayPal (2013 Digital Literacy Report) has found 60 per cent of SMEs say low levels of digital literacy are preventing them from running their business more efficiently. The research shows just 26 per cent of SMEs use the internet to sell, yet 65 per cent believe that conducting business online is needed for business growth.

The two year program of BEC workshops, interactive training and business consultation sessions is designed to help SMEs and not for profits to understand and act on the opportunities presented by greater digital presence in preparation for the delivery of high speed internet via the National Broadband Network.

Ten training workshops in Newcastle and Maitland are already underway but there are some places left. They cover areas including digital marketing, organisational web presence, using social media effectively for business and planning your online presence. Participants will also learn how to use the internet to keep in contact with their teams, as well as using the internet effectively to find candidates and recruit new employees. The internet can also help you take your local business to markets interstate or even overseas.

You can just register just for the workshops that interest you. There’s also up to four hours free one on one mentoring available to help organisations to personalise materials for their business and set up their online presence. Find out more at

For those of you outside of the Hunter region I am sure your local business chamber or BEC will be able to tell you about similar resources in your area. If you have details, please share them below.