Jan 21, 2013

Posted by jinson on Monday, January 21, 2013
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The Internet has emerged as an invaluable asset for small business owners, allowing them the freedom to find resources, research target markets, and even make connections with fellow professionals in other parts of the world.

At times, the Internet can seem like a huge and intimidating place for a small business owner. It can be difficult to know where to begin! Here’s our quick list of how to use the Internet most effectively for your small business.

Seek out information specific to small businesses

Many over-extended small business owners make the fatal error of neglecting to stay informed about current business trends. In today’s modern marketplace, you cannot succeed on intuition alone; you need to stay alert!

There are a number of incredible online resources that are both free and invaluable. Sites like Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com provide tips on everything from starting your business to navigating legal issues. Both of these websites feature articles specific to small businesses — information that will most likely be useful to your needs.

social media Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube RSS feed world mapTrack your small business’s industry and target market

Keep up on up-to-the-minute news in addition to industry trends with tools such as Google Alerts. Following industry leaders on Twitter can be a great tool for staying informed on real-time news.

Where are the fans? As important as it is to track industry news, it’s also important to know what’s going on with your potential customers! You can find Facebook pages designed for fans of your industry, and even spend some time on Pinterest to see what creates buzz among your target audience.

Create online small business partnerships

social media connections black redFind contacts and partners within your industry with whom you can swap tips, discoveries, and resources, even if they’re not in your area! Having a few friends in the cloud makes the vast reaches of the Internet seem a lot smaller.

One great place for finding acquaintances is LinkedIn. This social media network is designed to link companies and business professionals together. After setting up a profile and adding a few connections, you’ll be able to connect with and have conversations with people in your city, region, and beyond! You’ll also be able to pose industry-related questions in the Answers section of LinkedIn, obtaining both expertise from fellow professionals and insights from other industries.

How has the Internet helped your small business grow? Do you think the Internet is an overall force for good in the business world? Tell us in the comments!

About the Author: Andrew Yeung is president of CompAndSave, a leading online provider of premium printer ink cartridges, including remanufactured and compatible printer ink cartridges. With deals every month and a 1-year guarantee of quality, CompandSave provides an easy way for people and businesses to purchase printer ink and accessories.

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