Remember the days of going to your state’s government building and waiting in line to apply for a business license? That was not too long ago, but now business owners can find most, if not all, of the information they need online - from complying with laws and regulations to researching business locations. In our monthly Idea Exchange, where we pose questions to the Community about various topics, as well as the content, features or services provided by Business.gov, we asked members to “Showcase Your State or Local Government...
Searching For Information on Business.gov - Did You Find What You Were Looking For? Whether you're just starting up, looking to expand, or in need of quick troubleshooting - small business owners know research is a big part of their job. There's no limit to the amount of information available, but sifting through it all can seem like a full-time job in itself. To help you find the information you're looking for, we'd like to provide some insight into how our unique search engine works, and how it can help you make even...
In the first blog post for In the Loop, I mentioned that the Business.gov team was looking for input from the Business.gov Community on ways to expand the home-based business and self-employed business sections of the site. We asked for feedback and while we did not receive many posts in the blog article we did learn from the Business.gov Community. So here's what we have learned and how we are going to work to better serve these business owners ... Business Owners Want Answers While I did not receive any comments in the blog article, we...
As an acknowledgment to high-performing members in the Business.gov Community, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new series, Power User Spotlight, in In the Loop. Every month, the Power User Spotlight will feature exemplary members who have been very active on the discussion boards, giving informative answers and insightful advice in response to questions from small business owners. The goal of the Power User Spotlight is to share the stories and lessons learned of small business owners, from those who are just thinking about...
You may have noticed ranks (Creator, Window Shopper, etc) across the boards, blogs, and profiles of Community users. The idea behind the ranking system is that we wanted a way to acknowledge our active members by conveying a Community-wide title and reward them with additional capabilities. Here’s a breakdown of the ranks you can currently find in the Community, and the privileges that accompany them: Guests are unregistered users who may browse or search the boards for information. Upon registering in the Community, the first rank a...
In our third installment of Community hot topics, we’re glad to say that with nearly 3,500 people in the Community, there is plenty of discussion going on! Here is a quick summary of what’s happening in the Community now: New Idea ExchangeWe recently launched a new Idea Exchange, 'Where Do You Typically Go for Business Help?' . Members will have an opportunity to share their ideas, and vote and comment on ideas from others. We plan to launch a new exchange every 30 days, so let us know your ideas soon! Hot Topics The...
Not all small businesses are started by business savants. Most budding business owners enlist the help of mentors or enroll in courses to help them get started. There are several free counseling and training programs available locally and online designed to help small businesses, and we want to know which ones our Community members found valuable. In our monthly Idea Exchange, we pose questions to the Community about various topics, as well as the content, features or services provided by Business.gov. In September, we asked 'What training...
Here is a quick summary of what's happening in the Community now: New Idea ExchangeWe launched a new Idea Exchange in early July: 'What government data would be useful to you, as a small business owner?' This Idea Exchange will run until August 4, so you still have time to submit your thoughts and vote on ideas. You can read about the results from the last Idea Exchange here. Hot Topics The Starting and Registering board is abuzz with posts from online business owners, including a discussion on LLCs. Self-Employed and Home-Based...
It's official - the press release went out yesterday! Since we lent live one month ago, we are thrilled to have over 1,200 registered members. That's an average of 40 new members per day! Now that we are off the ground, we want to share how things are going, and explain how we are raising awareness about the Community and encouraging member participation. Raising Awareness with Social Media When we launched the Community last month, we leveraged the extensive social network that we have built over the last year to get the word out. Through...
Business.gov launched an e-mail subscription service in January that allows us to send small business information to subscribers who chose to opt-in to the service. The nearly 20,000 subscribers receive weekly updates on topic areas ranging from starting and expanding a business to staying compliant, and more. Why E-mail? We decided to use an e-mail service because we are aware of the correlation between e-mails and business owners’ use of the internet. For this reason, we decided to offer a subscription service for people who prefer...
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