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Small Business Misses New Media Opportunities February 6, 2008

Posted by David Dirks in Blogging for Business, Buzz Marketing: Lowest Cost/Highest Payoff.
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dirksphoto.jpgStaples (www.investor.staples.com), the office supply people, conduct their annual Staples National Small-Business Survey. Of the many interesting results, one stuck out like a sore thumb to me. In their research, they found that “more than 84 percent said they have not yet incorporated ‘new media’ (blogs, podcasts, virtual meeting software or services) into their business activities.”

What? You mean they’re not taking advantage of creating marketing buzz with a business blog? They haven’t figured out just how valuable a podcast series that is down loaded from their website (if they have one) is to gaining a new customer? What?

I was a bit stunned but I shouldn’t have. Less than two years ago, no one knew what a blog or, even better, a podcast was. Even now, with all the buzz on blogs and podcasts, many people I talk to are in the dark. No lights on at all.

Let’s go small business! The Big Dogz have figured this thing called ‘new media’ out already and are running with it. You need to do the same. Don’t know where to begin? For starters, Google something like “creating a business blog” and “creating a business podcast”. You can do this. New media means that you get a chance to interact and/or give valuable, usable information to your current and future clients.

You need to get it in gear and find out what this ‘new media’ can do for you. There’s more there than you think. Like I said, the Big Dogz are already there.



1. Patrick Badstibner - February 6, 2008

The problem for most small business owners is twofold. The first is time, most small business owners are running as well as managing their business. In fact more are running their business, rather than managing it. This is a subject for another day. The second is that to get it done correctly, is not always cost economical for the small business.

When you estimate that at current rates to get a website designed, seo, promoted, manged, and visible can cost upwards of $500 to $1000 a month it is hard for the local small business to justify this kinda of expense.

This is why most small businesses do not even have a website, much less anything else. Thanks though, there must be a better solution. You are absolutely right though about that small businesses have to find a way.


2. David Dirks - February 7, 2008

All good points Pat. I always suggest small business owners start small, working in incremental steps with new media at first. As time goes on and they move up the experience curve, they can choose to invest more if they want.

For example, my DirksOutdoors website is hosted for 99.00 per year on Apple’s .Mac and is built on the foundation of an easy to use program called iWeb. For little more than a $200. investment, a small business owner can build a fully functional website with the ability to add blogs, podcasts, vodcasts, and other dynamic content easily and quickly. They can add Google AdWords to their websites, etc.

My view is that you don’t have to start with a custom-built, $3,000 website and costly hosting fees to get some experience under your belt. My previous blog post on using uTube to expand your local brand using your expertise. Requirements: a decent video recorder, an organized 2-5 minute outline, and inexpensive editing software like Apple’s iMovie. Cost: Very little.

Think about this: This blog you’re reading costs Rick and I nothing but time. It’s free and it’s great! Maintaining fresh copy is the only challenger in this arena.

The point: Small businesses need to think of using new media using small, incremental steps. Get past that learning curve and you’ll harness the full power of inexpensive media like blogs,

Now, as to the time issue, you are right on the money. Most are too busy running their businesses instead of managing. Like you said, that’s for another time!

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