The New Orleans School of Cooking is one of the companies cited in Google’s annual economic impact report for using the Internet to do more with less.
Owner Greg Leighton said the Internet helped the New Orleans School of Cooking bounce back after Hurricane Katrina, and business tools from Google are playing an increasingly larger role in his efforts to grow the business. Leighton also hopes to maximize his company’s exposure by sharing video-friendly moments through YouTube and social media.
According to Google, the tech giant helped provide $200 million of economic activity for 10,000 Louisiana businesses. The report highlights the economic benefits Google tools helped provide nationally, an estimated $131 billion of economic activity for 1.8 million businesses, website publishers and nonprofits.
Leighton acquired the business in 1997 and immediately developed a website to offer online booking. He gradually moved into e-commerce. “That’s made a huge difference,” Leighton said.
The company now has 40 employees and is celebrating its 35th year in business.
More than 90 percent of the company’s bookings are online.
Leighton estimated that between one-third to one-half of reservations are directly related to the company’s Internet marketing.
The school has limited room for physical growth, Leighton said, so he plans to focus his efforts online and on building the retail brand.
The school’s Internet use is “really picking up steam now,” Greg adds. “If you take advantage of what the Internet offers, I can’t see how you can help but grow.”
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