Despite being in a time of economic slump, small businesses seem to be popping up here and there like daisies in a winter storm, said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation Business Services, a company that provides new businesses with the tools they need to get started.
However, among the new small businesses being born, most ignore some wonderful, effective resources available to them, Sweeney said.
These are the top 10 resources small businesses are underusing:
- LinkedIn — LinkedIn is the absolute best way to network online in a professional manner. You can make one account primarily for yourself (you can even upload a résumé) and/or you can make one for your business. Either way, you will begin networking and meeting beneficial people in your field of interest immediately upon signing up.
- Twitter — Twitter is fast-paced and great for updating your “followers” about the benefits of your business. Keep in mind to be tactful and keep an open communication with the people who choose to follow you. Do not just spam them about getting involved with your business, post interesting articles, ask them questions, be a real person.
- Facebook — Most people have a personal Facebook page. When beginning a business be sure to create a separate professional page strictly for your business . This should not have pictures or information about your personal life; stick to your business.
- Meetup — Meetup is a social networking site specifically for setting planned meeting dates. This can be highly beneficial when starting out and needing to set a time and place to meet with all involved in your new company. It’s an easy way to keep your company’s schedule organized.
- Company Blog — A blog gives your business a human face. Your blog should have a less formal tone than the tone used in, say, your website. This allows your customers to be able to relate to your business, now that it is just another person. It also allows for greater engagement with the availability of leaving comments after every blog post.
- Free PR Websites — There are websites dedicated to promoting your company’s news releases for free. The news release traffic is plentiful and they generally send a good amount of traffic back to your company website as well.
- Create an Online Incorporation/LLC Formation — This is an inexpensive, effective way to get incorporated. You will save money on taxes, protect your personal assets, add legitimacy to a new business, and have the ability to open a separate bank account.
- Have a Leveraging Banking Relationship — This is not only helpful in getting an account started, but it also introduces you to some good providers (credit card processing, 401(k), loans/financing, SBA).
- Community Outreach — Talk to your local chambers of commerce, establish a relationship. Customers love local businesses.
- Highlighting Customers — Give your customers good feedback and promote them to your other customers — spread the love! Customers love to hear about other customers in similar circumstances.
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