The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free E-commerce and Digital Marketing series for small business owners October 19 through November 2. The series will include introductory topics on digital tools for scheduling and analytics analysis, leading into a one-day WordPress intensive summit.

The series will launch with “An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Bridging the Digital Divide” from 4-7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 19. This seminar will provide an overview of web-based resources and tools that can streamline day-to-day operations for their business and alleviate stress from the digital world. Topics covered include: website tracking using Google Analytics, search engine optimization, blogging platforms, WordPress, social media basics and many web-based applications that are free to use online (Evernote, Dropbox, AnyMeeting, Mint, etc).

The second seminar in the series, “Using Analytics to Develop Your Business Platform” will be held from 4-7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 26. This seminar will dive further into web-based analytics and reporting as participants will start with setting up an account followed by adding the tracking code to the website. The majority of the class will cover navigating to and understanding the basic reports. The main focus of this class will be an introduction to the short and long-term benefits of utilizing Google Analytics to help grow website traffic. Mobile activity, social media, and live tracking will also be discussed.

The E-Commerce and Digital Marketing series will conclude with a One-Day intensive “WordPress Summit” November 2. Are you new to WordPress and want some hands-on support in setting up your website? The “WordPress Summit” is designed to take participants from a blank slate to a fully functioning website before you walk out the door. You’ll be guided through the steps needed to get your first website up and running. Participants will walk through initial settings and basic security measures (what you need to do first thing to ensure a clean site); getting content on your website (basic pages used on most websites such as home, about, contact, etc.), your first post, how to use categories versus tags to group similar content; theme selection for the ‘look’ you want, sidebars and widgets and social media connections with your website; and plug-ins to enhance your website’s functionality and appearance.

Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop with wireless internet and administrative access/password, any images and content you will want on your website and a willingness to learn through hands-on experience.

These seminars will be taught by Boomer Sassmann, owner and founder of Big Boom Design. With a degree from Appalachian State University in product design and a passion for web development, Sassmann has run this Asheville based design agency since 2007. Currently, he manages a team of 6 employees and supports over 300 companies across the United States. Since moving to Asheville, Boomer has been involved with the AB-Tech Business Incubator, organizer of the Asheville WordCamp conference, and consultant to hundreds of local business owners. His passion for web development, coupled with a drive to “bridge the digital divide,” has resulted in a unique educational approach to empowering local business owners about the internet. He is a serial entrepreneur, designer, builder and all-around maker.

Visit SBC.Haywood.edu or call 828.627.4512 for additional information or to register today. Thinking about starting a business in Haywood County or growing an existing business? Take advantage of the programs, services and resources provided by the Small Business Center. The NC Community College’s Small Business Center Network assists in starting an average of over 600 businesses each year. Small Business Centers have an economic impact in 90 percent of all NC Counties each year, helping to create and retain nearly 3,000 jobs annually.