With the state of the economy today, what can a small business do to help itself? Marketing online is definitely one thing, I would recommend. LOL Over the last few months, I have been pulling together articles on the subject and over the next few posts, I will be reviewing and pulling together those that are worth your time to read.
Guide to Resources for Starting a Business by Daniel Kehrer provides a nice overview of resources needed to start a business. Now if you already have a business, this could be a nice reminder of what is out there. Remember we alll need help now and then.
On the aspect of running an online business:
If I Were Launching a New Small Biz Web Site Today is a great article by Matt McGee. Matt does not discuss the issues involved in setting up a website…
“Either way, the hard work is only beginning when your web site is done. That’s when the marketing and promotion kicks in. How would you do that? How would you spread the word about your new small business and web site?”
Matt provides a 3 month overview of what to do online to market your business. Matt provides ideas, examples, and estimate of costs. Overall it is a great article for your review. Matt sums it up nicely when he states,
“Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for small business marketing”
Costs and fees are very important to the small business owner. As you surf the web, you will find that costs/fees will vary dramatically from site to site. Matt McGee put together another great article Small Business SEO: Costs, Expectations & Realities . This should be a must read for everyone. Matt essentially created a “part 2” to the original article that appeared on Small Biz Trends, Practices of Top SEO Companies for Small Businesses.
Matt works to provide answers to the questions, “But what about the cost of small business SEO? What should a small business expect to pay when hiring an SEO consultant?”
Costs for SEO can vary but it is important to have a basic idea on what you are looking at.
Final thoughts: Hanan Lifshitz, CEO at Palore worte a nice article back in August, What Is The Potential For Growth In SMB Online Marketing? Hanon concludes, “the answer is a resounding “Yes”, and further, the growth opportunity in online marketing for SMBs is significant, and “No”, the market is still far from being saturated.”
I agree with Hanan, there are plenty of opportunities for small business to advertise online and to help spread the word about their business or service, They simply need to get off their butts and do it!
Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.
The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.