The world of business has changed dramatically over the last thirty years. Consider that just a few decades ago, the only way to really promote a new business was by going door-to-door as a salesman, and even then, you’d still need to rely on word-of-mouth for anyone to hear about your business’ name.
Times have changed, however, and today – and despite the competition – it’s never been easier to start a business, as well as maximise the potential engagement of as many people as possible, both locally, nationally, and even internationally.
The Internet has made this process simple, easy, and more convenient than ever, but a new business owner will have to learn how to utilise the many different and usually free tools that are available.
Meta is the brand name for a number of companies, tools, platforms, and technologies, many of which are largely available for free. Some of the more well-known services in this category include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and many more. This is how these services can be used for a business:
- Facebook: With almost 3 billion users, there is perhaps no social media platform more well-known or popular. It’s always been free to use, and while there are some paid elements that can certainly help, a new business could make a name for themselves without having to invest any money, as long as they knew how to make full use of the platform.
- WhatsApp: This enormously popular instant messaging app has become the dominant way that many people in the world chat to each other online. Owned by Meta, WhatsApp is a fantastic way of communicating with people – it even offers a business service, making it easier for customers to reach out.
- Instagram: The other big name in the room, especially among younger generations, and is probably one of the best platforms around for building a large audience.
Meta Platforms has been in hot water in the past for its lack of content moderation, and while there’s some truth to the controversies, it does mean that it’s easier for most kinds of businesses to sell their goods and services. Facebook will allow some services and industries that might not be permitted on other platforms, including alcohol and gambling – so if you’re trying to sell a homemade lager or offer links to Australian pokies sites, Meta’s platforms might be perfect.
While Meta’s services can handle the customer relations and advertising side of things, Google Workspace provides the backbone to make the business actually run. This includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Maps, and several other powerful services that are free to use, with a limit of 15GB. It’s more than possible to start a small business successfully using nothing but these tools offered by the powerhouse that is Google – and if you want even more from them, the cost is around $6 per month per user, which provides an even wider arrangement of services.
Some notable mentions include:
- LinkedIn for finding clients.
- WordPress for website creation.
- Flickr for pictures.
- Mailchimp for mass email marketing.