Trends for Small Businesses in 2014 & 2015

Our managing director Wally Chiang had the privilege of meeting the managing director of Google Australia Maile Carnegie at a recent Small Business Summit organised by Australian Retail Association and Australia Chamber of Commerce and Industries. The focus was to bring together small business owners and inspire and educate them on what are some of the things they can do to increase their presence online. Some of the ideas includes:

  • Google Business View – A bit like Google Street View except the user can actually walk around your shop/premises virtually on the web. This of course wouldn’t benefit every business, however if your business is in the retail industry and have a very nice setting, then this might be the tool you need to attract more customers to come into your physical brick and mortar store. Google also mentioned that there might be the opportunities for hotspot to be built within the virtual tour and be linked to your eCommerce store to allow customers to purchase directly!
  • Google Adwords – If you don’t already know, advertising via Google Adwords (aka, SEM or Cost Per Click – PPC) is one of the most cost effective ways of reaching your potential customer. It’s of course not as easy as setting up an account, create some keywords, set the budget and start the campaign, well technically yes, but that will not bring you the best results. It’s important to be focused on a segment of your target audience and figure out what kind of keywords they would search for online to find your business. A general rule of thumb, people searching for a string of keywords (eg, 3 or more specific keywords about service/product with location) are more likely to take action than searching for single generic keywords. If you’re interested in setting up your Adwords campaign, checkout our SEM service page for some information and contact us to make a start.
  • Google My Business – After evolving for many years it seems Google has finally settled down on their online business directories for Google Map. It was originally known as Google Places, then Google+ Local and now finally Google My Business, where they combine the social media aspect of Google+ with the Google Map business directories. The plus side is it’s very simple to setup where you will need to claim your business online by either phone or mail. Once setup, you can start posting news and interesting things about your business (sign up to our eBooklet tips on social media posts) to increase customer engagement. Google My Business also provides you some analytic statistics and even a cut down version of Google Adwords called Adwords Express if you want to promote your business on Google Map.

Managing director of Google Australia – Maile Carnegie stated that the biggest trend of 2014/15 for businesses will be ensuring their online presence caters for mobile devices. This doesn’t just mean the website needs to be responsive (optimised for mobiles and tablets), but also ensuring the delivery of information are easy to consume and relevant to the people on the go. Finally the minister for small business Bruce Billson made a remarkable speech about small business who doesn’t embrace technology for whatever reasons will eventually be phased out and replaced with more savvy and innovative businesses known as the ‘pathfinders’.

We are living in the most interesting time ever for small businesses. There are so many tools that are available to us today at a fraction of the cost compared to a decade ago. It’s up to the business owners to leverage off these opportunities and make positive changes to their business instead of fearing them. At 20-80 Solutions, we try very hard to ensure our engagement is as risk free and result based as possible. If you’re interested in finding out how we do that, contact us today to find out for yourself.

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