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small business Articles

Can Groupon Own The Deals Space?
· 24

Can Groupon own the deals space the way Google owns search? It’s hard to imagine the space being dominated by any one company. Forget for a second that it has Google and Facebook to contend with, and even LivingSocial (previously cited as its closest competitor). 

What deals sites have you tried? How successful were your campaigns? Tell us about it

Eric Schmidt Speaks at Humboldt University: Full Video

Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke at Humboldt University in Berlin last week. Google has now made video of the entire speech available.

He talks about Google increasing its presence in Europe and Germany, and the funding of a center for discussing/debating the evolution of the web. He also announces a small business initiative.

He then talks about OnePass, the new subscription service the company announced recently.  

There are some microphone issues at the beginning that are somewhat comical. 

The State of the Yellow Pages Print Industry
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I have been pretty harsh on the Yellow Pages in the past. Most of my trouble comes from the fact that the medium just isn’t as effective across all verticals as it once was. That’s not to say that it’s not effective at all, because that is untrue. In some areas, it can work well–like plumbing, HVAC and other emergency situations. Of course, by the time you locate the book you probably could have done the search on your computer or smart phone just as quickly, but who’s counting?

5 Tips for Making Your Site More Local-Friendly
· 7

Search engines have become one of the primary ways that people find products and services right in their hometown. This growing reality significantly increases the need for small local business owners to master this thing called local search.

There are many ways to make your website pages much more localized. This is one of the underlying elements that tell the search engines that yours is indeed a local business.

Google Offers on the Way, Should Groupon Have Sold?
· 23

Google has a new project in the works that appears to be a direct competitor to Groupon. It’s called Google Offers. According to an official fact sheet about the product, obtained by Mashable, Google Offers is "a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email."

Getting More From Your Google Place Page
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I write a fair amount about local search because it’s an important topic that’s only going to become more important as millions upon millions of folks move over to smart phones to do their browsing and shopping.

Will Local B2B Be the Next Web Trend?
· 5

Most of you would probably agree that local is one of the biggest trends on the web these days, fueled by a variety of factors: increased mobile and smartphone usage, localized deals services (like Groupon), and of course search. Local is a major focus of Google right now, as evidenced by an increasing number of local results being returned for queries, as well as products like Google Places, Hotpot and Google Offers. 

Google Gives Small Businesses A Bunch of Free Resources, $100K in Ad Spend
· 1

This year, Google says it is going to "help businesses, great and small, get the most out of the Internet." The company has selected five small businesses from different areas and given them $100,000 in AdWords spend for the year, along with free consultations with AdWords reps, and free wireless service for the year.

But that’s not all. They gave the businesses brand new laptops and smartphones,  free "green" environmental consulting, a year of free accounting and financial services, and a free webmaster.

Groupon Talks Managing Capacity, Following Japan Apology

As previously reported, Groupon has apologized for a recent deal gone bad in Tokyo. In the apology, CEO Andrew Mason mentioned that Groupon has "capacity planning formulas" to help merchants figure out the number of customers they can handle from a Groupon deal. As you may know, a common complaint about Groupon is that it can send too many people to a business, which does not have the means to meet customer demand.

Facebook Groups As A Small Business Intranet Option
· 2

When Facebook Groups was unveiled last year, I was skeptical. Facebook tinkers with its platform so much (to its credit) that I sometimes just tune out. Professionally, I need to know about these changes. And, more importantly, I need to know how they impact my clients. But, this one just didn’t do much for me.

Until I started revisiting the tool recently.

6 Steps For A Better Small Business Facebook Page
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The rise and rise of Facebook continues unabated, and it has moved well beyond just being a social network, it’s also a vital marketing channel for businesses of all sizes.

While most businesses have taken the first step of setting up a standard Facebook page which includes a feed of comments, photos and helps them gather fans; few have taken their Facebook pages to the next level.

Super Bowl Pre-Game Will Reportedly Feature Groupon Ads
· 2

If Groupon’s not already a household name, it may be soon. According to AdAge, the company is getting ready for some big time TV advertising, starting with spots during the Super Bowl pre-game show (the Super Bowl itself was already sold out). 

Tasks That Should Be On Your Local Search Shortlist
· 1

Recently, I have been talking about local Internet marketing and the rapid developments in the area. Well, as we start 2011, there is a strange sound in the local Internet marketing space—silence. There is a temporary lull in the frantic pace of change and innovation in the Google local search results.

Can You Have An Effective Online Presence Without Your Own Site?
· 4

Do you need a website to run a successful business these days? In years past, the answer would have seemed to be: almost certainly. Granted, not all businesses operate the same way, and businesses thrived for centuries before websites even existed, but if you don’t have on online presence, you are missing heaps of opportunity. That much is clear.

Yelp Launches App for iPad

Yelp has launched a long-awaited (by iPad users) iPad app. It’s now available in the iTunes Store. 

The app lets users do the following:

- Search for businesses using a new landscape map/list mode, or flip your iPad into portrait for a full screen view

- Browse business information and reviews

- Write Yelp reviews and share to Twitter and/or Facebook

- Bookmark businesses you want to try or have been meaning to review

- Sign up for a Yelp Account

Why 2011 Will Be a Huge Year for SMBs
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I am declaring 2011 the Year of the Online SMB.

For the uninitiated, SMBs are small and medium businesses. They are the Holy Grail for business service providers because there are so darn many of them. They account for around 95% of the businesses in the US. (Either that or they supply 95% of the jobs but either way, it’s pretty impressive.) I like the definition of an SMB being under 100 employees, but up to 500 employees can be deemed an SMB also. There are no hard and fast criteria for determining SMB status but we all know one when we see one.

Groupon: We’re the Savior for Small Businesses
· 24

Legend has it that Groupon turned down a $6 billion offer from Google, which if accepted would have been Google’s biggest acquisition to date. Time will tell if this was a smart move or not, but Andrew Mason, Groupon’s CEO seems fairly confident in the company’s future.

7 Tips For Improving Your Business in 2011
· 1

Holy cow! 2011 is right around the corner. This is the time when entrepreneur’s thoughts (aside from those focused on preparing for the holidays, of course) turn towards growing or changing their businesses in the New Year.

Smart. Because unless you want to be exactly where you are now, doing exactly what you’re doing today, you need to do something different. Otherwise, you’re guilty of insanity. And, to paraphrase the great ski film maker, Warren Miller, “…you’ll be one year older when you do.”

The Daily Deals Industry in 2011

The daily deals industry is an exciting space to watch right now, as evidenced by Google’s recent $6 Billion offer to buy Groupon, Amazon’s $175 million investment in LivingSoical, Facebook’s recent launch of Facebook Deals, and all of the other competitors looking for a pie

Twitter Revamps Its Business Resource Site

Twitter has launched a revamped version of business.twitter.com, which is a resource site aimed at helping businesses get the most out of Twitter.

eBay Finds Small Businesses Optimistic About Holiday Sales
· 1

eBay has released the results of its first U.S. Online Business Index (OBI), a new report that focuses on small business owners views across a variety of topics.

More than half (60%) of eBay small business owners surveyed said they are considerably optimistic about the future of their online businesses during the 2010 holiday season.