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Google my Business for the Smallest of Small Businesses

Guest post: walktosuccess.com

Even the Smallest Business, Freelancer, Consultant, Coach, Virtual Assistant, and Network Marketer needs a Google My Business Listing and a Website

Today’s world is loud. There are millions of brands, businesses, and bloggers all unceremoniously vying for consumer attention. In the current landscape it can be difficult for businesses to break away from the pack in order to let consumers know that they are capable of satisfying their needs. This is especially difficult for the smallest businesses, Freelancers, Consultants, Coaches, Virtual Assistants, and Network Marketers. No matter what the product or service is that’s being provided, even the smallest business needs a Google My Business listing and a mobile-optimized website to meet the ever-changing demands of a digitally interconnected world.

According to statista.com currently, more than 50% of searches are made from mobile phones. Netmarketshare.com shows that roughly 75% of all searches are made on Google and here’s a fun fact, there are over three and a half billion Google searches per day. Jon Mitchell in his 2012 Readwrite article notes that roughly 16%-20% of queries have never been asked to Google before. With so many people asking Google so many questions, it’s clear that customers want to find businesses to suit their needs at the touch of a button. Essentially this means that even the smallest business benefits from having an optimized Google My Business listing coupled with a website that is optimized to display mobile content because no matter how loud that radio ad is or how bright a shiny new neon sign may be, in today’s digital environment, being easy to find online is a much more efficient business strategy. This is where a mobile-optimized website and a Google My Business listing both come in handy.

Relevance, distance, and prominence are the three key components, out of a slew of varying factors, that Google My Business uses to create business rankings. Essentially, these factors combine to answer two simple yet essential questions. First, how well does the business fit the customer’s needs? Second, is the business in question near enough to the area requested in the customer’s search criteria to be a relevant and viable option for them? In this online arena the smallest business, Freelancer, Consultant, Coach, Virtual Assistant, and Network Marketer can stand on equal footing with massive enterprises since the Google My Business rankings are literally working off of the query of the customer rather than the ad buying power of a corporation.

Rather than struggling to maintain a presence on every social media platform available a more efficient (and feasible) business strategy is focusing on one or two social media outlets that can be consistently managed well. More importantly, even the smallest business needs a clear, easy to find and simple to navigate website, and a Google My Business listing. While a website digs in and provides a more in-depth view of a business’ offerings, a Google My Business listing will be what many potential customers see first. It is their gateway to the business’ webpage, so it is of paramount importance to make sure the Google My Business listing is kept in good order. Check it regularly! At the bare minimum, there are three things that should always stay up to date on a successful Google My Business listing: the business hours, contact details, and photograph

Keeping the business hours and contact details up to date may seem fairly straightforward but consider this, if a small business decides not to work during Easter or a sales team is given the Friday after Thanksgiving off, would someone passing through from out of town who needs assistance be aware that the doors are closed? Would that same out-of-towner know that a business opened a new branch or office nearby? Whether or not a business is open and where that business is located both need to be accurately reflected in that business’ Google My Business listed business hours as well as on the business’ website. Customers want to be able to rely on being notified of the times where services are unavailable and how to get to where a business is located without unnecessary ruckus and rigmarole. Repeat business can be lost if a potential client changes their schedule and shows up to a business only to find that the lights are off and nobody is there.

In addition to contact details and the business hours, in order to make a great first impression both on a website and in Google My Business with customers, photographs of the business have to be up to date. Photographs help a business manage customer expectations and they also help to build trust potentially turning first time customers into lifelong patrons by showing that a business is active and worth visiting. Photographs can be a great way to keep customers informed of special events and new products too.

With every update and renovation that Google makes to Google My Business consumers and businesses alike get to reap the rewards. Once again, business descriptions have been added to the Google My Business repertoire. Even the smallest business, Freelancer, Consultant, Coach, Virtual Assistant, and Network Marketer can take advantage of this re-introduction. Although promotions, prices, and urls aren’t allowed the Google My Business description is an opportunity to tell potential customers what it is that makes a business, service provider, freelancer, graphic artist or even webite builder unique. It is a chance for businesses to briefly share their story.

At the end of the day, every business should have an effective website and a Google My Business listing because they are chances to show potential customer why a particular business deserves their patronage. Even the smallest business, benefits from having an effective business strategy. In today’s technologically driven world, Google My Business and a website are the core elements necessary for an effective business strategy. A company can have the greatest product or service and market demand but in order to maximize both its reach and potential, people have to know that it exists, understand how the business, service provider, frelancer, or marketer satisfies their needs and desires, and be able to conveniently find its location. With Google My Business potential customers can find even the smallest business, Freelancer, Consultant, Coach, Virtual Assistant, and Network Marketer at the touch of a button on their smart phones, laptops, or tablets.

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Take Advantage of the Sharing Economy: Here's How

The sharing economy is a new business model where individuals sell or rent a product or service via online platforms such as apps or websites. If you are looking to make a little extra income, consider taking advantage of these sharing economy ideas based on your personal attributes:

Creative:
Hospitable:
Helpful:

This list doesn’t even begin to cover the sharing economy options available to you. If you can dream it, you can sell it.

4 Must-Haves To Be a Sharing Economy Success

The term "sharing economy" may be a foreign word to you, but chances are you’ve heard of, or even participated in a sharing economy without even realizing it. Put simply, a sharing economy is when individuals sell or rent their product or service directly to another individual, interacting directly with one another. For example, you might rent out your car or home, or offer freelance labor. The great thing about the sharing economy is that anyone can participate. Here are the four must-haves in order to be a sharing economy success:

1. Flexible schedule – Whether you are pursuing this full-time, part-time, or as a way to make a little extra cash, you are at the mercy of your customers, and limited availability is not only a bad business practice, but a deterrent to those looking to purchase your services. While the sharing economy enables you to work flexible hours and be your own boss, you must be available to work. If your current schedule doesn’t have much room, you may find it difficult to find time to participate in the sharing economy.

2. Internet connection – Most if not all of the sharing economy’s success comes from the fact that users can purchase or rent services online with the click of a button, making an Internet connection a must. For example, before the Internet, renting a car required you to physically go to the rental company and pick up the car from the lot. Likewise, if you want to get a cab you have to hail it. With the advent of transportation networks, users can now rent a car and be picked up at their exact location without any added hassle.

3. Trust – As was mentioned above, most of the sharing economy takes place via online platforms such as websites or apps. Because of this, you will have to encourage reliance via positive reviews and ratings. If you have a stellar reputation, you’ll gain trust from customers, which will generate more business leads when satisfied customers leave a positive review.

4. Simple payments – The overall purpose of the sharing economy is make acquiring goods and services simpler, as well as at a reduced cost. A hassle-free payment process is crucial to the success of your business. The key is automation – streamline as much of the process as possible using automated payment systems, email/text verifications, and online performance reviews.

If you have these four must-haves, you will increase your chances of successfully participating in the sharing economy.