Good news for small business owners: “Google and the Small Business Administration have partnered to educate local businesses about how to succeed online.” The helpful site is located under one of Google’s help pages and is also linked from SBA.gov itself in a section titled “Growing a Business Online,” which has additional information for those in need. According to Google & The U.S Small Business Administration’s guide, there are eight keys to having online success.
What are Some Highlights of the Eight Steps of Doing Business Online?
Establish a Presence & Display Imagery. How do you become successful online? Start by actually establishing a presence on the web using local listings. Be sure to “complete every available listing field to give your customers even more information.” Additionally, you should develop your own site that potential customers can access in order to find your geographical location, contact information and company description. The guide recommends uploading high quality photos and videos in order to best show off your offerings.
Engage Customers & Interact with the Community. You should be creative, building web pages that are both user-friendly and appealing. You can post coupons, specials and other promotions to draw in a readership. You can also use social media at large to interact with your customer base, asking questions and opening up a dialogue in order to receive useful feedback. After all, this is free market research–you can’t beat that.
Promote Your Business & Educate Your Customers. Take advantage of all the free perks of being online and advertise, being as clear and specific as possible. Teach your customers about your products and related needs that they may face. Develop a reliable and trustworthy relationship and continue to nourish it.
Pay for Advertising & Measure Results. You can continue to reach a broader audience by turning to paid advertising, having your company featured on other sites. Google reminds, “Search and display advertising are highly customizable. You have full control over keywords, creative, and your budget.” You should also use web analytics to analyze traffic and find inefficiencies that can be improved upon.
Visit the site to find related videos that further explain and testify of the validity of these points. Parenthetically, the Google guide hosts this disclaimer: ” This web site is provided as a public service under Cosponsorship Authorization 10-2110-16. It is not an official U.S. government web site and may contain links to non-U.S. government information. Inclusion of such links does not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA. SBA is not responsible for the content, accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of linked information. Please use caution when considering a product, service or opinion offered by a linked web site. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.”
More from this contributor:
“What Does “Sunk Costs Are Irrelevant” Mean to Your Business?”
“Would You Increase Company Productivity by Letting Employees Take a Nap?”
“5 Ways to Save Money on Small Business Promotional Flyers & Advertisements.”
Karen Mills, “SBA Blog: Growing a Business Online.” SBA.gov.
“Tools for Online Success.” Google.com.