E-business classes offered

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, November 4, 2009

VIDALIA — The Louisiana Delta Initiative is hoping to help take area businesses from bricks to clicks by offering a free e-business class next week.

“Basically, we are making people aware of the many ways they can have a presence online,” said Dora Ann Hatch, an instructor and community rural development agent for the LSU AgCenter.

The free workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Concordia Parish Library Vidalia branch.

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The goal is to bring economic development into rural areas through the Internet, Hatch said.

“E-commerce is revitalizing downtown areas because it brings in more people than those who exist in an area,” she said. “By taking them from bricks to clicks, from their brick and mortar location to a Web location, (businesses) have the worldwide market.”

During the workshop, participants will learn how to use the Internet as a business research tool and which Internet platform to use for their business.

“A lot of people think that blogging is an online diary about my children, my grandchildren and my relatives,” Hatch said. “In fact, people use blogs to talk about the products they sell, or allow other people to talk about their customer satisfaction, and a blog promotes their site.”

Instructors will also teach participants the process for planning a Website and effectively marketing the Website once it is up and running.

“Just because you have a Website doesn’t mean you are going to get traffic,” Hatch said. “We’ve had people come to us and say, ‘I’ve had a site for a year, and I’m the only one who has visited it.’”

The target audience for the workshop will be owners of existing businesses, those interested in starting an Internet business and those who have a home-based business.

Seating will be limited, so to pre-register call 318-336-5043 or 318-336-0904.

For more information, visit www.startmyebusiness.blogspot.com/