Small Business Online Marketing Tips
Written by: Scott Neil
Today's small businesses face more challenges than ever before. There was a time when a plumber, contractor or auto mechanic would be the go-to resource for nearly everyone in the community. With a handful of local businesses offering similar services, there was limited competition for attention in the yellow pages.
The Internet has created an entirely new competitive world for small businesses. Customers now go online to find services for just about everything, so having a web presence is a must for businesses, big and small. Without the skills or the time to build websites or run an online marketing campaign, small, community-focused business owners can be ambivalent about getting online.
Fortunately, it's easier than ever for small businesses to create a simple, easy-to-maintain online presence. Here are some practical, simple tips to help small business owners get online:
Start a Blog
While a blog might seem like a large undertaking, it can be an easy and affordable place to build an online presence. Sites like Wordpress and Tumblr are free, so there's no cost associated with basic accounts. For time-pressed small business owners, there isn't even any need to maintain a blog with lots of written content. Instead of writing traditional blog articles, try creating short, simple posts about upcoming discounts and deals, or upload pictures of ongoing projects and work well done.
Create a Facebook Page
This page is free, easy to set-up, and a great way to interact with customers. Unlike a blog that needs updating, a Facebook page can easily serve as a small business' only web presence, complete with company address, contact details and service information. Importantly, it can also serve as a basic customer service platform, where customers can ask questions and receive answers. And don't forget, with one billion people on Facebook, people in every community—regardless of size—around the globe are already on the site.
Take Advantage of Online Classifieds
Online classifieds are a great way to connect with customers. Sites like Kijiji.ca host free local ads, so skilled tradespeople and business owners can offer services in nearby communities. With community listings in more than 100 cities and towns across Canada, more and more businesses are turning to Kijiji's Services section to advertise online.
Scott Neil is the head of vertical business at Kijiji Canada. He is responsible for the strategy, operations and development of vertical businesses at the company, including Kijiji Autos.
Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR
The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.”
NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well.
2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer.