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New Year's Resolutions|

WSI Inside Edge


New Year's Resolutions for Small Businesses

Welcome to the latest edition of the Inside Edge--your monthly report on Internet trends and advancements that can turn your business into a more profitable e-Business!

After you read this month's edition, contact your local WSI Consultant to find out how to put this valuable information to work for your business right away.

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Take Your Business to the Next Level in 2007 by Making Some Key Resolutions Now

2006 is now over, and we're just starting into a new year with new beginnings. After the rush of the holidays, we all return to work, be it in an office building or our in-home office, and start planning for the year to come. What are your plans for your business? Do you plan on taking your business to the next level of success, surpassing last year's goals? This year, make some resolutions that will impact your business positively in 2007.

Resolve to Get Online

If you haven't taken your business online yet, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. The Internet is one of the best things ever to happen to small businesses, as it gives businesses regardless of their size a virtual storefront that can easily compete with big business on a level playing field. No matter what the focus of your business is, there is a place and a market for it on the Web. Quite simply, consumers are looking for you online – either to research your business or even to purchase your goods or services online – and if you're not there, they'll find someone else.

There are so many ways to get your business online with an Internet solution that can help you make money while you sleep. From multi-functional sites featuring e-commerce, attractive flash, and other interactive functions, to microsites that help you get a simple but effective site online quickly, the options for your business are endless.

What are your online needs? While every business is unique, the one thing that unites small to medium sized businesses is their need to have an online presence so they can compete in today's e-marketplace.

In 2007, resolve to sure your business is online, right next to your competition – or better yet, be above them!

If you are already on the Web,
Resolve to Develop Your Online Presence

If your business has already moved into the online marketplace, congratulations! You've taken a great first step. Now, it's time to make sure your online presence is effective. Many small to medium sized businesses have very basic websites that act as simple online brochures. They have their basic information online, but are effectively 'flat' websites that give visitors little reason to return to the site after they've seen it once.

For 2007, decide for yourself that an e-brochure just isn't enough for you, and resolve to move your website forward. Effective sites today are interactive and tailored to meet the needs of visitors to the site. In the new year, do some research and find out what your customers want out of a website – (e-business functionality? Downloadable white papers? Product photo galleries? Promotions for site visitors?) and make sure your website delivers on their needs. A website is only effective if your customers get what they want from it easily and quickly.

Also, the start of a new year is a great time to freshen up your Web presence! If you haven't updated your website in a while, start the year out by adding fresh content. Your visitors and customers will appreciate it, and so will the search engines!

Resolve to Reach Your Target Market

Can your target market find you in the major search engines? If you've never thought about this or defined keywords to organically optimize your website, it's definitely time to start. Internet users don't just browse anymore - they search. And if you aren't easily found, your potential customers are going to find someone else. Organically optimizing your site with keywords can help get your site a top spot in search engine listings, which will considerably up the chances of your target audience finding your business online.

If you have optimized your site but are still not easily found, maybe you need to start the new year by researching new keywords.

Have you used words and phrases that your customers would actually search for, or have you used potentially obscure 'catch phrases' taken from your company's mission statement? Many businesses make this mistake, not recognizing that how they define their business is not necessarily how their customers would search for them. If you're unsure of how to select your keywords or what words and phrases are right for your business, there is a wide variety of online tools available to you to start your optimization initiative (,, and, just to name a few).

Getting your site found through search engines isn't the only way you can reach your market in 2007. Why not take your business a step further by initiating an Internet marketing campaign to really reach out and get your business noticed? Try email marketing, send monthly e-newsletters, place an online banner ad, join a reciprocal link program to build traffic to your site, develop a public relations plan and get your press releases published online and in local print media. All of these tactics can help you make 2007 a benchmark year for your business. Push yourself and your business beyond what you ever thought possible.

There is no better time to redefine "success" for your business. Say 'farewell' to 2006, and 'hello' to the possibilities that 2007 can hold for you. As you begin to conceptualize your business path for the year to come, resolve to make 2007 the year your business profits online – Make 2007 a year to remember!

Get some help making your Online New Year's Resolutions by contacting your local WSI Consultant today!

This edition of the Inside Edge has been brought to you by Ron McArthur, Certified Internet Consultant.

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