The Best Things in Life Are Free

Topics: Business, Facebook, Entrepreneurship Pages: 3 (995 words) Published: January 3, 2011
The Best Things in Life are Free
Over the decades--heck, even centuries--philosophers, politicians, tycoons and other leaders have insisted that you can't get something for nothing: "There's no such thing as a free ride," or "Nothing in life is free." Well-known economist Milton Friedman once said, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Even Entrepreneur columnist Robert Kiyosaki's rich dad told him the same thing. But in our evolving Web 2.0 world and with Google leading the way, the rules have changed: You can get something for nothing--and for entrepreneurs, that something can have a significant impact on their businesses. Today, the web is full of free tools to help entrepreneurs start, run and grow their businesses for next to nothing. It'll just cost you some time and an internet connection. On using free stuff

* Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to use it. "Because there's so much out there, businesses have a tendency to be like a kid in a candy store," says Drew McLellan. "Start with the strategy of what you want to accomplish, and then find the tool that will allow you to do that."

Adds Mike Whaling, "It's a matter of figuring out which tools are right for your business. Know your audience, and then go to where they are already having conversations." * You don't have to figure it all out by yourself. McLellan suggests doing a simple Google search on a tool or task you want to accomplish. "You'll find people talking about it," he says. "And people are incredibly quick to share what they know." * Don't lose your company's brand. Using a variety of tools can lead to an inconsistent company image and voice. Says McLellan, "Run it through the litmus test of 'Is this right for my business? Does it portray my business the way I want?'" Whaling also emphasizes thinking about what your business's name will be associated with because many free tools are ad-supported. * Push your preconceived notions aside. MySpace and Facebook...
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