Monday, May 16, 2011 | 9:37 AM
Happy National Small Business Week!
As a small business owner, you work hard every day of the year to serve your customers and communities. This is the week of the year when our country officially recognizes and celebrates you! Here in the US, we have over 27 million small businesses who are vital to the fabric of our communities, sponsor our little leagues, give character to our Main Streets, and provide two-thirds of the nation’s jobs.
We’ll be celebrating the week in Washington DC at the Small Business Administration’s event honoring small businesses, themed ‘Empowering Entrepreneurs.’ In the spirit of empowerment, we’d like to offer some recommendations on how you can strengthen your business this week with easy tools and resources.
Day One: Make sure you’re showing up in natural search results. The easiest, thriftiest way to reach people online is to have your website show up in natural search results. To ensure your most recent website can show on Google.com, submit your URL to Google.
Day Two: Make sure you’re showing up on local results. In one out of every five online searches, a customer references a location. If you have a brick and mortar business or are a local service provider, this is huge for you. Make sure you claim your online business listing with Google Places so you are eligible to show on Google.com and Google Maps.
Day Three: Evaluate your marketing plan and performance. When was the last time you reviewed your marketing strategy, or evaluated the success of your marketing campaigns? This week, set aside some time to think about your marketing objectives for the remainder of the year. If you’re new to online advertising, take this opportunity to create your first AdWords account. If you’re an existing Google AdWords advertiser, spend time evaluating the performance of your account this week, or check out useful tips at the AdWords Online Classroom.
Day Four: Join a National Small Business Week Forum. On Thursday, 5/19, the SBA will be hosting two forum discussions as part of the National Small Business Week celebrations - one on social media, and one on becoming a high growth, high impact business. Both of these forums are open to the public. If you’re too far away from Washington DC to attend in person, go here for a live webstream.
Day Five: Encourage customers to review your business online. People are frequently turning to social review sites for business information. With Google’s new +1 button, your customers can also recommend your business right on Google.com. You can also ask them to rate and review your business on Google Places.
Be sure to check back here throughout the week for updates from Washington DC!