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Saturday, 3 January 2015

How to start a Small Business via internet

How to start a Small Business via internet 


How to start a Small Business via internet
Update it enough to spark discussion, and while I do not know the particular business in question, Amber could have been talking about a number of small, local businesses. In fact, no matter where you are, you might be able to mention a few from your area too. And Amber raises some important issues in his update, ranging from the presence of digital business, marketing their email, and their overall customer service.Although the constant change in the field of online marketing has grown and matured quite a bit over the last few years. There are so many different online platforms available to us, and a new one will be on line every day. Hundreds of social networking, all sorts of marketing programs and philosophy, and it can be very confusing. As a small company, you have to spend your money and time wisely, while maximizing your results.Here is a short list of what I believe are the 5 most important online tool which most of you should use for your small business. Keep in mind, your particular situation may dictate something different. One of the most important things for any small business or nonprofit to determine is a social network that is used, and the decision should be based on what makes sense to YOU, and where your target audience spends time.

1. A websiteLet me repeat that: a good website. This may seem silly, but still there are a lot of small businesses out there that have no real online presence at all. Get a website. Period.There was a time when having a website was a bit of luxury as it can be rather expensive to build. Not so much anymore. A functional, visually pleasing websites can be built for anything. Remember: things have changed. Internet is often the first place people go to find information about you. Not the Yellow Pages, not your ad, your website. If you do not have one, you will get ignored. Also, think of your website as an online equivalent of a brick and mortar presence. Take pride in it. Are you spending money on maintenance of buildings and facilities? Then you must be willing to spend the money necessary to get what you need. A website is no longer just an online brochure. This could be a living, breathing center of activity.

2. A blogIf a web site is the hub of your online presence, a blog which is located on your site is the liver. A blog allows you to talk about your business. This allows you to provide important information. This shows your customers (and potential customers) that you know what you are talking about. And provides a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) is necessary to get better placement in search engine results.In their book, Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel noted:

    
"Neither this press release or full-page ad in The New York Times will improve your search engine rankings as a blog that is updated regularly. Teh, cheapest, quickest and easiest route to the shortest is the prominent Google rankings blogs often."SEO is important for any small business website, but a blog can take care of a lot of it, and most likely will put you well ahead of your competitors who may not be blogging. 
3. FacebookOf all the social networks out there, this is one that I think is a no-brainer at this point. More than a billion people on Facebook, and more than likely a good chunk of your audience includes existing and potential. A properly built Facebook business pages are updated regularly with good, interesting content can be very effective. Plus, with the roll out of the new Facebook Graph initial search, Facebook is even more important as a form of customer service and word of mouth marketing. I rarely tell clients that they need to be on a particular platform, but Facebook is an exception, based on ubiquitous in our culture today. Your customers expect you to be there. If you are not there, and does not have a website, you really lose. Maybe there are other social networks that will work for you too, but Facebook is usually a good place to start. 
4. Email / Contact FormApparently there is some sort of mysterious superpowers. Because I see a lot of business websites and social profiles fail to have the appropriate contact information. Is not the purpose of having an online presence and get found online, and marketing in general, to get people to call you? Do not hide this information. At least you must provide contact forms and email addresses, telephone numbers otherwise. And if you have a physical location where you can visit your customers, make sure they can find you. And like Amber said in his update, when someone contacted you about anything: your hours, your services, your products, make sure you contact them in a timely manner. And the response must be timely regardless of how they contact you. 
5. Location toolIf you are a brick and mortar facility, the location of the most important tool for you is Google+ Local, formerly known as Google Places. You may even exist without knowing it, so you will need to claim and optimize your account there. Properly optimized, it gives users the opportunity to learn about you over there in their Google search. Create your account, or find and claim it, and then make it complete. Additionally, you may want to consider Foursquare, which along with Facebook and Google, give your visitors the opportunity to tell others about you through check-in. Other search engines like Bing and Yahoo also have their own version of the location appliance for small businesses.Secondary ToolThere are many other tools out there that work well with the above mentioned. This includes everything from LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to Pinterest and Instagram. Only you can decide, based on quantitative and qualitative research on what would work best for you, and where your customers spend time.But remember, once you have committed to the platform, you need to follow. Create an account or attendance and then not using it could not be accepted, and sends the wrong message to your audience.