As a web generation, when we’re looking for a dentist, plumber, or other small business, our first instinct is to go online when we need these services. Sure, there’s Yellow Pages that can find a name, number and address, but as consumers we are used to more and these small businesses usually lack a formal online presence. However, there are several companies that have emerged with the tools to help.
ClickFuel, a Boston startup that designs, manages and tracks marketing campaigns, has recently launched a set of Internet marketing tools designed to help small businesses to promote business through attracting new customers. Some of the services include: web site design, pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, email marketing and social media. An appealing service as many times these businesses lack the resources and knowledge to get online.
Fuel Station, a web-based ClickFuel application, is the main muscle helping to track results including leads generated, clicks and consumer calls made to a phone number listed online. Through a strategic partnership with Intuit, Fuel Station was recently added to Intuit’s App Center which appears in QuickBooks 2010 — a longtime go-to financial tool for small businesses. The Intuit App Center provides QuickBook users with tools to help solve any business problems that might arise. Help from ClickFuel isn’t cheap, though it’s hard to put a price on generating business. The typical monthly fee runs between $1,500 and $2,500 and usually entails Web site building and managing online marketing campaigns.
If you’re a small business owner and the thought of shelling out a large amount of dough every month frightens you, there are other options. MerchantCircle, a growing Silicon Valley company, is offering a local business social network where business owners can promote their business by uploading pictures, writing blogs, publicizing events, creating coupons and newsletters, and connecting with other merchants, all for free.