Are You A Member Of Your “Community”? The Hype and Substance of Vendor Communities

sagespark.gifSage released launched a new community, SageSpark.com, which is a resource for those businesses just starting out and who need help, that’s a bit different than a business owner with years of experience.
The three main areas of Sage’s community include:
– free and fee-based online applications to manage specific, discrete business needs, such as invoicing customers.
– small business services that free up their time to run their business and accelerate business growth, such as online IT helpdesk services, online marketing services, business benchmarking, and employee recruitment.
– community that allows users to connect with other small businesses, find new customers, share best practices, and learn from various experts.
There are a lot of communities that are cropping up.
Verizon recently launched a portal dedicated to businesses. This portal has a range of useful and not so useful information.
Useful includes a digital Verizon consultant who can guide you into various Verizon business services based on your needs. The not so useful includes a big form to enable you to track a package with Fedex. You can do that through Fedex.com or even Google quickly and easily. No need for Verizon’s portal to have this feature.
Other communities include Dell’s 360, Intuit’s community and more.
What you need to do is find those communities that are the most vibrant, have the most active users where you can find answers to your questions, give back to the online community and receive the most benefits (free applications, articles, video, fee based tools, etc).
Involvement in one community is probably not good enough, just like reading one news web site is not enough.
Explore many and join and be an active member in the ones that can most help your business – including giving you some visibility and NEW business from the other community members!

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook