99 Resources for Small Business: Volume 1
Welcome to the first entry in a new series of posts for our business blog. Over the coming months we’ll be compiling a collection of helpful resources looking at things such as social media platforms and how to understand and use them, applications to save your business time and money, websites that offer helpful services and advice as well as any other news, tips and tidbits we think small business owners could gain valuable knowledge from.
#1. Twitter Redesign
Twitter has just launched a redesigned interface. While it keeps the short and sweet 140 character limit for tweeting, it adds the ability to embed images, video and other media into tweets without needing to link to an external webpage. A long overdue upgrade, this is really going to enhance the way people use twitter.
For businesses, it’s going to become easier to get your message across to customers. In the past, if you wanted to show a picture or video to your followers they may or may not be bothered opening up a new browser tab (yep, us internet users can be a lazy bunch). The new twitter interface allows users to click a link that opens the media right there on the page, below your twitter post. Excellent.
Yelp is a US based search and review website that generates content from its community of users. Urban Spoon has been doing this sort of thing with restaurants, cafes and eateries for years now, but Yelp takes it a step further by letting its users review and rate pretty much anything they want in a given town or city. Yelp has the potential to be either great or terrible for your business, depending on how satisfied your customers are with the services you provide.
Having just launched it’s Australian website, I had a look at reviews of businesses based in my local area then posted a review of my local corner store. Businesses beware. In the age of social networking consumers have more of a voice now than ever before. Take advantage of it by providing the kind of service your customers will rave about.
#3. Know How To Use Social Media
While we’re on the topic of social media, it’s absolutely vital that your business knows what it’s doing. If you don’t understand the ins and outs of social media, it’s essential that you either educate yourself or get someone who knows what they’re doing to do it for you. Many big businesses are still yet to comprehend how to effectively use social media.
Take Australia’s largest airliner QANTAS for example, whose recent social media marketing campaign backfired on them in spectacular fashion. Top Rank Business Blog has compiled a valuable selection of advice on how to effectively use social media in business, taken from a range of experts from various companies and businesses. Check it out.
#4. Printing For Less
We currently have a special promotion running with our printing partners at Printing For Less that will give you 20% off absolutely any of their printing services! Simply order your printing via this link or use the promo code “99designs20” when ordering through their main website.
Printing For Less make an insane range of printable goods; from your basic business cards, brochures and stationary to larger items such as vinyl banners and table tents, through to magnets, calenders, custom post-it notes and a whole range of things you’d probably never even think of printing on. This offer is valid internationally and ends December 31 2011.
#5. Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey has the potential to be a priceless web application for your business, and one of the best things about it is that the basic version is completely free to use. Survey Monkey allows you to create online surveys for people to give valuable feedback for your business. It’s easy to set up an account, make a survey then link to it from your business’s Facebook page, twitter and blog to receive important feedback from customers, clients and employees without the need to hire a firm to do the job for you. Keep in mind that Survey Monkey is not a be all and end all solution for business feedback statistics, but it can definitely be put to great use.