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School Sets Up Virtual Class To Help SMEs

Selwyn College, a well known Auckland school and a stronghold in community education, is helping small business owners with its new online education offering.

Community education has been an important staple of learning. Students get to attend classes, typically held on weeknights or on the weekends, and learn from various subject matter experts.

Interestingly, Selwyn College has been promoting learning geared toward SMEs, with a track record of running various courses targeted toward business owners.

However this year, the school is doing something different, and instead delivering a course online through Zoom. With Zoom, the course can be accessed by many Kiwis throughout the country looking for the all important help.

With bleak forecasts by Treasury and a tough past few months for business owners feeling the effects of COVID-19, it is believed the course will be in high demand.

Clark Valmont, the course teacher who is a well-known Kiwi entrepreneur explains “The challenge for many businesses is that marketing is changing at a rapid pace. Going online for many is not just a maybe, but is turning into a necessity”.

“You could expect a greater number of people make their decisions behind a computer or mobile phone screen, rather than physically shopping.”

“But it’s not just about marketing. Products and services may need to be adapted or changed. This poses major challenges for small business owners”, Valmont adds.

Helen Carroll of Selwyn College advocates for the great value of learning. She mentions “Business owners may need new strategies for reaching their market due to changes in physical shopping habits and potentially more careful spending.”

“Business owners may need to stand out amongst every one else going online. Business owners may have capabilities they don't recognise initially to refocus their business on a new income stream.”

“A person sewing ski hats might be able to make masks instead” she adds.

The course helps to have business owners think about new products and services to market, as well as ways of identifying new opportunities and forming strategies around them. It also looks at the importance of marketing online and how this may evolve in the coming months.

Consideration is being given by Clark Valmont to whether the course continues to be taught online, even beyond Alert Level 2. It is anticipated that going online will allow more people to reached at one time, taking this course beyond the physical limitations of teaching in person.

Helen Carroll says the virtual courses are “Accessible to all geographically. Those close by save on travel time. (It’s) low effort.”

The virtual class is due to start in the upcoming fortnight. Interested students should contact Selwyn College’s Community Education for availability and to book tickets.

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