It goes without saying, but there are a LOT of different aspects to running a small business. You need a website, logo design, marketing materials, social media…and the list goes on and on. But an online presence is a definite must in this day of the Internet and online accessibility. For many of us, we turn to multiple vendors who specialize in one specific area of business to help us or we simply forfeit them because they are just out of our realm of competency.
According to a 2011 report by research firm Borrell & Associates, 46 percent of small and medium size businesses in the U.S. have no online presence. Of those that do, 80 percent are a simple business card site without embedded revenue generation. Why is this? According to the report, most small and medium business owners do not have the time or the expertise necessary to successfully conduct business online. Since time is an issue with most small businesses (or should I say the lack of time), managing multiple vendors to perform your business tasks can sometimes be more troublesome than doing nothing at all.
Is there a solution to this problem? Is there a ‘Costco’ for small businesses to turn to that provide them everything they need under one roof?
Marketecture believes it has a solution. It’s Businesss Center 3.0 provides a set of tools for small business to grow and build their online business. Here you can easily build, market and monetize your website, all by yourself, without being forced to spend a lot of money of various SEO experts, social media managers, web developers etc.! You’ll also be able to monitor and manage social media marketing and learn what people are saying about you or your business on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn or Foursquare. If you like, you can also set up an e-commerce store and sells your goods online.
Alterian is another company that offers an integrated marketing platform, and offers several tools for monitoring your online activities. Web content management, email marketing management, social media marketing or engagement management and analytics – Alterian has the tools for the job, you just have to pick out what you need.
“Being able to integrate ones marketing (and other business components) is important. Having customer information in various database is a recipe for disaster, especially the more you grow.”, says Ramon Ray, editor of Smallbiztechnology.com. ” Having said that it’s important to consider that if you need a GREAT web site, maybe the company who builds web sites, sells security solutions and makes mango juice is not the company for you.”
Perhaps Ramon is right. Sometime the ‘Jack of All Trades’ truly is the ‘Master of None’. But, on the other hand, another value add for services like this is that there is ONE number to call, one person to speak with to help you manage things – you don’t have 5 different vendors to call about 20 different problems. At the end of the day, that may be far better than forfeiting what your business needs.
So, if you are a small business struggling to manage your online presence (or simply don’t have an online presence) check out one of these services to see if it’s a fit for you. It just may turn out to be the answer to some of your prayers.