Ecomomic & Business Development

Economic & Business Development

Digital Ready Businesses

Watch this introduction to online presence strategies

Purdue Extension Community Development’s Digital Ready initiative advances the capacity of small businesses to strengthen their knowledge and application of broadband strategies.

Through interactive workshops and online courses led by a statewide team of Purdue trainers, participants learn about the importance of the digital economy, how to incorporate digital strategies into the work place and build technical knowledge.


Expanding Your Business’s Online Presence

Recent studies highlight the economic benefits of broadband adoption by small businesses. Since most new jobs in Indiana are created by existing businesses with less than 100 employees, establishing and expanding their online presence is critical to remain competitive.

Narrowing the digital divide requires efforts to strengthen digital literacy, enhance the awareness of digital tools and encourage adoption by consumers and workers. Our basic/intermediate level educational products help advance broadband applications by entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Over 100 businesses have participated in the face-to face Digital Ready Businesses workshops, reporting an overall 92% increase in knowledge after the workshops. So how did the workshops help businesses grow? When we asked businesses that question, of those who responded, 73% reported an increase in sales, 91% reported an increase in their customer base and 100% reported an increase in customer engagement.

We know it can be challenging with busy schedules to attend workshops, so there is now an option of taking the courses online. To get started, download the free app in Google Play Store for Android (iOS version coming soon!)  Several courses are available with the remaining courses to be added in the upcoming year. Participants can take the Introduction to Email Marketing course at no cost and decide if they want to continue with the other courses. After the free course, it’s only $9.99 for each additional course.

Course Prerequisites

Before participating in a workshop or online course, we recommend you view these brief videos:

Course Workshops

  • Claiming Your Bubble: Map platforms, review sites and more!
  • Planning Your Website: Do you know what a good website takes?
  • Introduction to Email Marketing: Learn how to reach customers’ inboxes
  • Email Marketing Analytics: Evaluate your email reach
  • Social Media Introduction & Platforms: What is it and where is it?
  • Social Media Plan & Content: How do I use it for my business?
  • Social Media Analytics and Marketing: Evaluate your reach and paid marketing
  • Business Intelligence: Adopt artificial intelligence to maximize business value

Business Testimonials

Stories from a few small businesses after implementing strategies learned from the Digital Ready Businesses workshops:

“The information was very helpful in how to market on each platform. We have a long way to go but at least now have a plan in place! Since our workshop I started concentrating on Facebook and Instagram with the help of my daughter. She started to post daily even though our content/backdrop was not exactly how we wanted it we have played along tweaking as we go. We grew Facebook from 1547 to 2079 and Instagram 676 to 2013 so far!”

“When photos are posted, we see a direct increase in traffic.”

“I’m doing PR and their business has expanded.”

“Our services in particular have improved and we have become more aware of how to improve engagement with customers.”

“The Digital Ready workshops helped put additional social media information in my hands that I didn’t know were available before.”

“This was a great series of workshops, especially for those just beginning their business.”

“Our business has increased in the 1st year!”

Download The Mobile App For Digital Ready Businesses

Android App Icon

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Name Job Title Email
Bo Beaulieu Director, Purdue Center for Regional Development
Roberto Gallardo Extension Community and Regional Economics Specialist
Lindsey Bloos City of Madison Chamber
Cheryl Casselman Extension Educator, Sullivan County
Emily Del Real Program Coordinator
Mary Foell Extension Educator, LaPorte County
Cheyanne Geideman Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Tanya Hall Regional Extension Educator
Nicholas Held Extension Educator, Spencer County
Bill Horan Extension Educator, Wells County
Dee Kleier Extension Educator, Franklin County
Annette Lawler Extension Educator, Harrison County
Tamara Ogle Regional Extension Educator
George Okantey Extension Educator, Marion County
Jeff Pell Extension Educator, Hendricks County 
Krista Pullen Extension Educator, Cass County
Janet Reed Extension Educator, Lake County
Julie Rigrish Regional Coordinator, Purdue Center for Regional Development
Hans Schmitz Extension Educator, Posey County
Ron Shields Open Book Digital Curriculum, Rush County
Heather Strohm Community Development Regional Educator
Jose Valtierra Extension Educator, Lake County
Crystal Van Pelt Extension Educator, Steuben County
Kristi Whitacre Extension Educator, Vigo County


To learn more about Digital Ready, contact:

Roberto Gallardo

Roberto Gallardo

Community & Regional Economics Specialist

Emily Del Real

Emily Del Real

Program Coordinator

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