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.


Expand Your Business’s Online Presence

Digital Ready Business lessons were designed to get small businesses and entrepreneurs on the internet by providing flexibility on when and where you learn. Through these lessons, you will receive in-depth instruction on how to get a business online, from creating a website through email reach, in order to better reach your customers.

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.

Entrepreneurs and businesses participating in the Digital Ready Businesses course report an overall 92% increase in knowledge after the course. So how did the course help businesses grow? When we asked entrepreneurs and 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.

Flexible Learning

We know you’re busy so we offer two ways to take lessons through the Digital Ready course. You can choose one, or a combination of, the two options:

Once you’ve registered for a lesson(s), download our study guide app through Google Play or iOS (coming soon!)


  • Claiming Your Bubble:  Learn how to claim your bubble and identify multiple management/claiming bubble platforms, such as map platforms and review sites.
  • Planning Your Website: Learn how to create an online presence by learning key concepts, formats and content considerations by understanding what goes into planning and designing a website.
  • Introduction to Email Marketing: Learn how to reach customers’ inboxes by learning the basics of email marketing, key terms and essentials.
  • Email Marketing Analytics: Evaluate your email reach by understanding key indicators regarding email marketing, including conversion and ROI.
  • Social Media Introduction & Platforms: Find out how to identify the platform or platforms most suitable for your business by learning what social media is, what is available and how it differs from other digital platforms.
  • Social Media Plan & Content: Learn a six-step social media planning tool, benefits of social media and best practices regarding social media content.
  • Social Media Analytics and Marketing: Evaluate your reach and paid marketing by learning analytics key terms, Facebook Insights and ad campaigns.
  • Business Intelligence: Learn the basic concepts behind artificial intelligence and what steps your business can take to take advantage of this technology in the future.

Course Prerequisites

Before taking a lesson, we recommend you view these brief videos in order to become better prepared:

Course and Lessons Cost

Purchase lessons individually, or save money by buying the package:

  • Indiana residents: lessons are individually priced at $50 or purchase the package for $250
  • Non-Indiana residents; lessons are individually priced at $55 or purchase the package for $300

You have up to 90 days to complete a lesson, or a year to complete all lessons. Once you have completed all lessons, you can apply for the Digital Ready Businesses Certificate!

Digital Ready Certificate

Earn a Digital Ready certificate to indicate proficiency in basic level business related digital skills. A Digital Ready Businesses (DRB) certificate may be awarded upon completion of the required lessons, successfully passing the quizzes to assess knowledge and completing a final project.

The final project will reinforce skills learned and provide you an opportunity to demonstrate your ability and skills in real-world experiences. Earning a Digital Ready certificate exhibits to employers that you have the competence needed for strategy, planning, management, promotion and measurement.

Certificate cost: $225 for Indiana residents and $250 for non-Indiana residents.

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!”




Name Job Title Email
Bo Beaulieu Purdue Center for Regional Development
Roberto Gallardo Director, Purdue Center for Regional Development, and Community and Regional Economics Specialist, Extension
Lindsey Bloos City of Madison Chamber
Cheryl Casselman Extension Educator, Sullivan County
Emily Del Real Engagement Specialist
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
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 Businesses, contact:

Roberto Gallardo

Roberto Gallardo

Director, Purdue Center for Regional Development, and Community and Regional Economics Specialist, Extension

Emily Del Real

Emily Del Real

Engagement Specialist

Quick Links


And to think that today in the US more than 90% of adults ages 18 to 49 have a more powerful machine in their hand, every day.…

About 14 hours ago from Roberto Gallardo's Twitter via Twitter for Android