Google & Small Business Administration partner to share tips with businesses

Ben and Jerry turned a $5 correspondence class in ice cream making into a multi-million dollar business. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, sold sneakers out of the trunk of his car at track meets. And, like many silicon valley startups, Google got its start, literally, in a garage.

Every business starts small and sometimes, with a little luck, they catch on. One way to make sure your business has the best possible chance of success is to make sure it has a strong web presence. A new generation of tools geared especially for even the smallest businesses make this easier than ever. They are easy, low-cost and often completely free and they can ensure that consumers can find you online and learn about what you do.

These tools are great for small business and for our economy and that's why we've teamed with the U.S. Small Business Administration to create a website featuring video testimonials by small business owners who are using online tools to attract more customers. The goal of the partnership between Google and the SBA is to help small businesses understand the tools and resources available to them online and learn savvy tips from other small business owners.
  • Establish your online presence. One out of five searches on Google are related to local information. Massive numbers of consumers are using the Internet to search for everything from taekwondo classes on the south side of town to a trusted vet for the family pet. Small and large businesses can easily create a rich online presence using tools like Google Places and, for businesses that want to take the plunge and create a full-blown website, ready-made site templates and free hosting services like Google Sites make creating one painless and fast.
  • Use free marketing to reach customers. You can build a fan base for your business with free services like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter that will keep your customers in-the-know about new products and special promotions. These services are great "word of mouth" platforms that make it easy for a customer following your business to tell their friends about it.
  • Understand your customers. Online tools can make you smarter about your customers by analyzing the search terms they use to find you and the pages they visit on your site. This data can help you tune your offers and site to what's truly popular and can be used to help you select terms for online search advertising such as Google AdWords.
In addition to the videos, Google also produced a “Tools for Online Success” booklet that will be in nearly 1,000 SBA, SCORE, and Women's Development Centers nationwide. The booklet offers online tips and tricks for businesses of any size.