Having a business is a terrific thing. However, just having a business isn’t enough for most small business owners. They want to grow the business over time. Luckily, there are a lot of different online tools that can help you to grow your business.
Here are ten of them to get you started:
1. Online Business Card Services. In order to grow your business, you need to create a brand and spread the word about it. Business cards remain the single best way to do that. You can hand them out liberally everywhere you go from networking events to the local coffee shop. Today’s best online business card services provide a low-cost method of creating unique, personalized business cards. There are also virtual business card options for your online networking.
2. Social Media Sites. Speaking of online networking, there is no better way to grow your business than to use social networking and social bookmarking sites. These sites allow you to promote your brand, share your links and connect with your customers. Use these sites correctly, grow your social profiles and you have a very serious marketing tool at your fingertips.
3. Video Marketing. The way that many people get information these days is by watching interesting, entertaining videos. Add these to your website and market your company through them on other sites and you can effectively grow your business. Use online tools to create videos as well as to share them with others.
4. Email Marketing. Another great way to grow your business is to use email marketing. For example, you might use online tools to organize your email list and then to send an e-newsletter to your list. You can send deals, provide customers with new information or ask them to follow links to your newest products. Services like iContact and Benchmark are among the best in email marketing.
5. Presentations. Some of the marketing that you do to grow your business will take place offline. For example, you may give presentations at tradeshows or when teaching local classes about your industry. You can use online tools to create top-notch presentations that help to grow your business when you use them offline.
6. Online Surveys. In order to grow your business, you need to know what you’re doing right and where you could use some improvement. Online surveys are a great tool to help you find out that information. Survey Monkey and Poll Daddy are two great examples of popular online surveys. A similar tool that you can use is a customer feedback tool to get information about your customers’ opinions on the work that you’re doing.
7. Website and Blog. Your website and blog can play a huge role in whether or not you grow your business. A good website attracts new customers. A good blog can keep them coming back to the site again and again. Put a lot of effort into this crucial online tool to steadily grow your business.
8. Website Analytics. In order to understand whether or not your website is working to grow your business, you need to use website analytics tools to assess the site. Google Analytics and Yahoo! Web Analytics are two popular free choices that you can get started with although there are many other online web analytics tools available as well.
9. Appointment Scheduling. Many customers don’t enjoy having to call a company to make an appointment with them. They would rather easily make an appointment online. In fact, customers will often choose one business over another for no other reason than the ease of making an appointment online. Use online tools to facilitate appointment scheduling and you should see your customer base grow accordingly.
10. Customer Support. To grow your business you need to not only get new customers but retain your existing customers as well. That’s why customer support tools are so important for growing your business. Keep your customers happy by making it easy for them to communicate with you online and you’ll earn a good reputation that keeps your customer base strong and growing.
Tom Rodgers has experience in custom application development and is the managing editor at Freeinsurancequotes.org, a business insurance site.