It’s not always a lack of skill or determination that’s holding back many small business owners from the internet marketing success they seek, but rather a lack of resources.
Without a library of powerful small business online resources, you may find yourself overwhelmed, frustrated and on the verge of giving up on your internet marketing efforts.
Skymax has compiled a list of 10 popular and powerful small business online resources to help you build, grow and manage your small business.
1. GOOGLE DOCS: Google Docs makes it easy to collaborate and share your documents with associates, prospects and customers. Create documents, spreadsheets, online surveys and much more with ease.
2. DROPBOX: Still using flash drives, CD/DVD’s or (gasp!) floppy disks?? Dropbox allows you to store all of your documents in virtual space, which makes a quick and convenient way to share documents or access them directly from any computer in the world. Although they have paid accounts available, you can get up to 2GB of storage absolutely free.
3. JING: Jing is a free screen-capture software program that gives you the ability to create both online videos, images, tutorials or training videos with ease. The software runs from your computer and all files are stored online, which makes it super easy to share your work.
4. MAILCHIMP: If you’ve been hesitant to implement an email marketing strategy because of monthly service fees, then you have no more excuses! MailChimp offers a free account for up to 2,000 subscribers, complete with opt-in forms, newsletter templates, autoresponders and excellent email marketing training.
5. WORDPRESS: The most powerful website publishing platform and Content Management System (CMS) is free! If your goal is to rank highly in the search engines for your market keyword phrases, WordPress is an excellent platform to develop on – search engines absolutely LOVE WordPress websites!
6. FACEBOOK: With over 700 million people on Facebook, if your small business doesn’t have a presence – you’re missing out BIG TIME on free traffic, subscribers, referrals and the potentially viral effect of social media. Getting it started is one step, although we highly recommend a custom Facebook Business Page Design for your landing page.
7. PICRESIZE: This nifty online tool allows you to resize, crop and save images into different formats. No software to download, no annoying popup ads, no watermarks and yes, it’s all free!
8. GOOGLE ALERTS: Get instant notification anytime your market keywords, company name, even your competitors names are featured online on blogs, news sites, forums and more. This is an excellent free way to keep a pulse on any keywords you desire. Also read our Small Business Internet Reputation Management article for more information on this subject.
9. MERCHANT CIRCLE: Although there are countless places to setup a small business profile online, Merchant Circle is one of the largest and best directories to get your small business listed in. You’ll be surprised how many of your local business neighbors you’ll find there!
10. MEETUP: This is an excellent place to locate local networking events with local business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs. Join groups that interest you or start your own!
Of course this list is barely scratching the surface. We want to hear about YOUR favorite (and free) small business online resources. Share your favorites in the comments below!
[box style="doc"]Adam Skiba is the Founder and lead SEO Consultant at Skymax, a full service Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Company in western Massachusetts.[/box]