Chapter 2

Building a Plan for Your Small Business's Online Reputation

Although the idea of planning can be daunting, it can also be a fun and relatively easy exercise for you and your business—really! It's not critical that you follow whatever plan you develop precisely; however, it is crucial to take a serious look at the state of your online reputation as it exists today, so you can assess how much work you need to do.

The process of building and mapping this plan is intended to give you some perspective on how your online reputation looks today, to help you understand whether you will have the bandwidth to manage your online reputation, and to help you effectively communicate your needs if you do need to find some help. Remember, you don't always need outside help, and you can do most of this yourself if you really want to. Also remember that no matter how mature your online presence is, there's always room to improve it.

You can approach this next section as you would while building a salad at the salad bar. You have the base necessities; you then just need to select which extras you want to make it just right for you.

Identify Your Starting Point

Most small businesses will be at some stage other than the very beginning, even if they haven't actively done anything on the web for their business profile or to increase awareness for their business online. With so many business directories online these days, it's probable that at least one of them has matched your physical address ...

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