How businesslike is your approach to the internet and your online activities? For many businesses, the approach has been adhoc. Ask a small business owner where they have been online and most will have little idea of their past activities. As the internet has grown, many people, not just business owners, have hopped from one fad to the next – often only visiting a site once and never returning – but they have still left a footprint there.
Did you ever create a presence on Myspace then decide that Facebook was better? Did you ever go back and delete your Myspace account? Can you even remember your login and password? I could spend the rest of this post quizzing you about your online activities and I dare say that slowly, like pulling teeth, I could get you to unearth quite a few ‘sites’ that you have visited, registered your details, then never returned.
To have an effective online presence you need to keep a track of where you have been, where you have left your business details, and what your login details are. This is important for a number of reasons. First, if your details change then it is wise to return and update those details. This is particularly true if you have listed your business in an online business directories.
Of equal importance is the possible need to erase any of your tracks. If, for instance, your business fails and you are forced back into the workforce, you may not want the history of your failed business online. This also holds true if you ever sell your business – the business is no longer yours so you shouldn’t still have listings in your name.
A simple spreadsheet or database is all that is needed to keep a track of your online activities. You may find it particularly useful if you ever need to go into damage control following an attack on your businesses reputation. If you are unsure about any possible listings, do a few Google searches using your name and various versions of your business name and/or brand. When performing the search, start by putting the search term inside inverted commas – the results may well surprise you.