Whatever the size of your venture, whatever you set out to achieve, a strong online presence has become the cornerstone of a modern business strategy.

Done well, a digital footprint can boost your business-changing objectives. It can drive brand awareness and introduce you to new markets, and it can capture leads and and make you more efficient with your time. It can also help you more easily maintain customer relationships, share your story and attract new recruits. In short, it can be tailored to your needs – while you continue working your way through day to day operations.

While digital know-how can transform a business, it’s rarely up there on the list of reasons we decide to go it alone. Passion and purpose often comes first – and honing up on best-practice processes come next… if there’s time.

It’s a route that can lead to a digital disconnect for time-pressed small businesses. To plug the gap and empower leaders to remain competitive, they need an opportunity to conveniently and affordability upskill, in and around a busy business day.

Access free online training

With that understanding, Xero is supporting The Digital Garage, a free online training program devised by Google with the support of the peak association for online advertising, IAB Australia.

Using the platform, small businesses and their advisors can educate themselves on topics of their choice, from website creation to online marketing, social media to search engine optimisation, ecommerce and more.

Whether you learn best with videos or step-by-step instructions, you can choose the method that works for you. The Digital Garage lets you set goals, learn from experience, apply knowledge through tests, and track progress.

And as with all good scalable online services, it’s available whenever and wherever suits you – on any device.

The difference in digital

There’s no doubting the difference that digital technology can have for small companies, but for Fiona Hulme, the founder of boutique card company Candle Bark Creations, the step-up in skills helped her take her products Australia-wide.

“Our revenue has tripled,” she said of her improvement in online skills. “It’s like having another sales person really, without you having to manage them.”

To find out how The Digital Garage could help you, take a look around.