As we begin 2011, there are many predictions being bantered about. (Do not worry I will be writing about all of the predictions in the next few days). 🙂 But for the small business owner, trying to get online, what do they need to do?  I have come across a few articles that I thought provided some good information and topics for the small business owner.

Small Business News: Small Biz Beginner’s Guide This is a great primer article, covering topics like branding, management, social media and so on.

Small Business News: Starting Your New Business In A New Year. Another nice overview article

2011 Trends Driving Rural Small Business – “Local foods, shop local, local business. Local, local, local. This collision of trends into an entire movement is reshaping small town economics. It must be big, because big businesses are trying to get in on it.”

The last article, I want to mention is from my buddy Andrew Shotland.  Do You Know What Your SEO Consultant Is Doing To Your Online Reputation?

This is an article really about what small business folks need to look for or out for when hiring for online marketing assistance.  There is no manual, no fee structure, no one right way to do things. This can be very confusing for the small business owner.  Andrew’s advice and mine, ask questions.  Here are the questions he thinks one should ask:

  • Are you doing anything that can get my website banned/penalized in the search engines?
  • Are you buying links?•Are you comment spamming?•Are you writing fake reviews?
  • Are you creating fake addresses and profiles for me on Google Places and other local search sites
  • Are you doing anything that might result in my having a huge black eye in the SERPs for queries for my business’ name or my name?

I have worked with many small business that have really been lead down the wrong path due to “SEO experts” “doing stuff”.  One of my resolutions for this year is to help small business owners better understand online marketing. I have some ideas on how to do this and will let you know next month/year. If you have any things you would like to see here, let me know.