Pledge to Shop Local on Small Business Saturday

Shop Small Business Saturday on November 26, 2011 and support your favorite business. For the second year, shoppers are asked to support the local companies in their community and help jump start our economy. Shop local and support your local business owners.

According to the Small Business Association, in 2009 there was 27.5 millions small businesses in the United States defined as 500 or fewer employees. They state small businesses employee about half of our counties population and create 65% of new jobs.

Find Small Business Saturday on Facebook. Follow Small Business Saturday Twitter activity with hashtag #smallbizsat.

Shop Small Business Saturday

Shop Small Business Saturday

Does Your Small Business Need a Website?

Does your business have a website? If not, you are not alone. The question is, does your small business need a website?

Chris Brogan said, “60% of U.S. businesses are not online in any fashion — a huge mistake in an age in which most people rely heavily on search engines to find information about businesses.”

Consumer shopping often starts online where we begin our research. If your company is not online, you miss the opportunity to be considered in the first round. Without an online presence, your company is eliminated before you have a chance to compete for the sale.

Brogan compares using a Facebook page instead of your own website to living in a hotel rather than a home. The content is yours through the site owner can kick you out or change the rules at any time.

The same holds true for other free hosting sites like wordpress.com, Blogger and Typepad. The sites are attractive to those just starting out. If you are just getting started with your first site, you may consider free hosting as a place to experiment with layout and content. These sites have tools and templates to get your site up and running within minutes. Advanced technical skills are not required.

Business Website

Does your small business need a website?

Once you determine the type of site and content that works for your company, consider moving to your own domain. The benefits of hosting on your own domain include:

  • More credibility for your business
  • Full control over your site and content
  • Greater flexibility of platforms and software
  • Improved optimization for higher search engine ranking
  • Ability to monetize your site

Costs to register a domain are about $10 a year. Hosting fees vary. If you are serious about your business, it is worth investing in your online presence with your own business website.

Algonquin Farmers Market

We live in McHenry County, Illinois and support our local business owners. Here is a video of our visit to shop with the vendors at the Algonquin Farmers Market.

Stop by the Algonquin Farmers Market any Thursday evening from 1 PM – 7 PM at the corners of Harrison & Washington Streets in the heart of beautiful historic downtown Algonquin. Plenty of free parking and a wide variety of vendors showcasing the best of McHenry County. The event runs now through September 30th.

View Facebook Fan Comments

Does your business have a Facebook fan page? Have you ever looked at your Facebook Fan page wall and wondered where all you Facebook friends comments have gone? The comments may seem like they have disappeared from view. Do not worry. The comments are not gone forever.

Here is how you can view these comments.

Log in to Facebook and navigate to your Fan page. In the middle of the page under the “What’s on your mind” status box, you will see the options where you can select the type of comments you would like to see on this page.

Choose to view comments from:

  • Wall owner
  • Friends
  • Wall owner and friends

The choice is yours. Modify your page settings to select the view option that works best for you.

Here is a short video where you can see how I change the page settings to view my friends comments on my CyberLife Tutors Facebook Fan page. Stop by our Facebook Fan page and say hello or leave a comment.

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You heard about LinkedIn from professional associates and possibly even created your profile. Now it is time to use LinkedIn to attract clients to you.

A quick overview of LinkedIn: It is an online professional networking tool used around the globe. According to LinkedIn, you can network with 70 million members from over 200 countries, including executives from all Fortune 500 companies. Members are split evenly between the United States and other countries. Basic LinkedIn membership is free though premium memberships are available.

Logging on to LinkedIn and creating your professional profile is the first step to building your online presence. Your goal is to attract clients and engage in business transactions.

This 34 page guide will walk you through the best practices for creating a profile that attracts clients, and the best ways to use LinkedIn as a tool to build your business. In each section you can stop reading, update your profile and come back for more.

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