In some ways, we bloggers here like to think of ourselves as small business owners when it comes to the Verizon Small Biz Blog. Granted, our focus here is not generating sales from our posts, but to provide relevant, useful and insightful information for small/medium businesses… so you’ll keep coming back for more.
Running this blog has been a learning process… it’s always a challenge to develop worthwhile content. It took some time for us to determine which types of content were more widely useful and read than another. Over time, we changed some things up, brought in new bloggers, added some videos – all to improve and enhance the Verizon Small Biz Blog.
Back toward the end of December, after our pledge to award you a $25 AMEX gift card for promoting your business in the comments section here, we realized we didn’t set up the backend to quickly and easily extract all of your comments. (Mental note: It’s good to have a plan! Of course, the opportunity with American Express to help them promote Small Business Saturday came to us fast and furious, and we just jumped in and said, “Let’s do it!”)
We ended up having to manually input over 400+ small businesses’ information into a database so the cards could be processed. A heart-felt THANKS goes out to Terrie, Kevin and Kristine for doing the tedious work. While entering the information, I was sad to see how many businesses didn’t promote their very own business.
We know you are running fast and furious to run your business, but you’ve got to market your business to build awareness and get more business. Most importantly, make it easy for someone – anyone – to find your business.
A significant number of small businesses that posted to the blog to get the $25 AMEX gift card did not qualify because they didn’t list the necessary information as was outlined in the blog. As a one-time courtesy, we reached out to those who left a phone number, an email address or listed their website.
I was frustrated, shocked and disappointed that…
- On some well designed websites there was no contact information – not even an email address! C’mon, make it easy for customers as well as potential customers to find your business.
- The website services some businesses used were more interested in promoting their website services than the service of the business. Now, that’s just not right… the experience was a little confusing and seemed unprofessional.
- Some of the phone numbers didn’t work. Need I say more?
Of course, there are a lot of savvy business owners too. Becky of Hillig Auto Center posted a short description of the services her company offers; her company’s website; and an email address as did Rick with PC-ER, Inc. Dave of Phoenix Computer Specialists included all of his company’s information and even offered a 10% discount to fellow small businesses.
Bottom line, the AMEX gift cards are in the mail… and those that qualified will get the card. For those businesses that just didn’t provide any information or made it impossible for us to contact you… there will be a next time to “win” a gift card. By then, our operation will be tighter and we’ll get those cards processed quickly. In any event, we hope you’ll spend your $25 at a local business. Until next time, thank you for your patience.
Let’s continue to improve together – please post your comments below. And please… get a website… no matter the size of your business your company can not be invisible.
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