Image by adria.richards via FlickrOne thing that amazed me in my many visits over the past five years to small business clients was the lack of any web presence. While my engagement was generally involving Financial Planning and Analysis, Operations Analysis, or Fixing their Quickbooks, I always looked at the other key marketing and sales areas and noticed no web strategy. In my discussions with small business owners, they felt it was expensive and too time consuming to implement. I showed them that in 15 to 30 minutes of work, they would increase their web presence in a meaningful way. This is important today as 82% consumers use the internet to search for local businesses. In some cases for those that were local in nature a simple and free registration with Google Places, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local for local businesses give them a free page one listing without even having a website. A small business owner also has many free simple website solutions in addition to Facebook Fan Pages as additional ways to make yourself known. Yelp and CitySearch MyAccount can also help small businesses. It will be interesting to see how small businesses can use Foursquare as that location based service expands.
In a couple cases the client was impressed when they received phone calls generated from the free listings before I finished the engagement. Contact me and I can provide you with some simple tools.