“We’re from the Googlement, and we’re here to help you.”
Surely, there are a lot of jokes you can make about this new partnership. But there’s nothing funny about it if you’re a small business trying to win business and differentiate yourself from your competitors on the Web. I talk to business owners everyday that struggle to make sense of how to get results from their Web sites. Mostly, they’re just flat-out confused.
Google has teamed up with the Small Business Administration to offer a collection of advice, instructions and examples for small businesses to capitalize and be successful online. It’s called Tools for Online Success, and it’s a bit more formidable than you might expect.
The site is a collection of steps that include [high2]establishing a site, how to use free and paid marketing & advertising to promote, and how to measure progress via analytics[/high2]. Each of the 8 sections contains a video with instructions and anecdotal support from small business owners that have realized success online. Each video lasts only about 3 minutes, but they offer sound principles for such small packages.
One caveat – many of the businesses presented are small, locally-focused consumer serving businesses – restaurants, florists, and the like. If yours is an industrial or tech business, don’t be turned off by the examples set by this site. The usefulness of these examples is that they are simply presented and universal. Still, they will require some translation to businesses that serve high functioning knowledge or task workers, who forage for and process information differently than consumers.
If your business doesn’t have a Web presence, if you’ve launched a Web site and forgotten about it, if you’re not sure where to go or what to do next to support your small business via online channels, you could do a lot worse than to start here.