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The Small Business Online Marketing Handbook: Converting Online Conversations to Offline Sales by Annie Tsai

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Summary

Getting started with building and then executing an online marketing plan can seem like a daunting task for anyone who has never done this before. As a small business owner, the stakes may seem exponentially higher because you're building a plan for a business that is often rooted in something you're deeply passionate about or you have some personal financial responsibility tied to the business's success.

The good and bad news is that you're not alone. On the one hand, with well over 27 million small businesses in the United States1 alone, as reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, small business owners are continuing to fuel employment and drive the U.S. economy. This means that as a new business owner, you have a lot of support and can harness the shared experiences and best practices of other small business owners to get off to the right start. On the other hand, with only 45 percent of small businesses established in 2004 still open in 2009,2 competition to stand out and gain market share needs to be an ongoing primary focus for small business owners.

In order to get ahead and stay ahead, small business owners need to be thoughtful about where and how they are spending both their time and their marketing dollars so they can maximize their overall return. It's an easy formula that you can follow whether you have any marketing experience or not:

  • Create a foundation for your online reputation that you can build on and build a reasonable online marketing plan ...

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