Teesside entrepreneur Alan Ransome has urged local firms to get involved in an initiative that could see an extra £10m pumped into the local economy.
Alan is one of a handful of businessmen and women spearheading Get Your Head Into Digital – five weeks of free online skills workshops to help Tees Valley companies increase their turnover.
It’s hoped more than 200 firms will improve the way they use digital technologies as a result of the workshops, allowing them to work smarter, reach more customers and grow profits.
Alan, who runs Ransome Sporting Goods, said: “Whatever kind of business you have, you need to inform your customers about it, and having a website is a very clear way to do that.
“I spotted the potential of websites very early on – more than ten years ago – because they can provide customers with an opportunity to view products.”
Get Your Head Into Digital is part of the Government’s national SME Digital Capability Challenge Programme and is being run by Teesside’s DigitalCity and the Tees Valley Business Compass.
More than 100 businesses have signed up and more are registering every day – organisers say those who’ve yet to sign up should do so without delay as the workshops will end on April 2.
The workshops – taking place in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, Darlington and Redcar and Cleveland – cover a range of topics including getting your business online, selling online, using social media to reach more customers, business banking online and accessing business files from any device anywhere in the world.
Alan has long been using online tools to help him keep in touch with his business when he’s travelling around the world.
“I can log into the company computer wherever I am in the world, access my emails on my iPhone and use Skype to talk to people back in the office via a video-call,” he said.
“Also, if I go to see a customer I can catch up on my emails when I come out without needing to return to the office to do it – it saves a huge amount of time.”
Today Ransome Sporting Goods imports and distributes a vast array of equipment from some of the biggest brand names at its 100,000 sq ft warehouse and head office in Queensway for table tennis, basketball, netball, squash, badminton, tennis, baseball, softball, gymnastics and rounders.
It supplies goods to some of the biggest retailers, education suppliers and specialists around, including John Lewis, Argos and Amazon.
Find out more about Get Your Head Into Digital and book a place on a workshop at http://www.headintodigital.com/