There are lots of reasons that small businesses fail.
- Lack of capital.
- Poor timing of market entry.
- Lack of exposure.
- Lack of strategic vision.
The list could go on and on but we can stop with that last one. Lack of strategic vision.
You've spent countless hours pouring over industry data, market research, brainstorming new products or ways to improve existing lines, cultivating the right talent and generally worrying over and nurturing your company. You've got your business plan in place and your plan of execution laid out. You are limited only by your own blood, sweat and tears. Oh, yeah and financing.
There is a precious balance in place stabilized only by your ability to maintain focus, stretch your imagination and persevere.
So how will Google Plus destroy all of this? Well, lets be real it wont. What will destroy it is your inability to discern what will add real value to your business and what will not. Google Plus itself will not be the downfall of your small business. But what can be is the divergence of precious resources to something that will not add but rather detract.
Cost Of Experimenting
Right now Google Plus is very new. In fact business pages were just recently released. There are no solid usage stats yet to tell us who is engaging and how those pages for business are being used.
Right now many are setting up their pages mainly because they can. And lets be real there can be some major early-mover advantage.
Many of these early business pages are being built by larger businesses that can afford to mix-shift their resources to test and play. Or even by smaller organizations with dedicated social resources.
Sean ODriscoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Ants Eye View once said "The ROI of experimentation is learning." Larger organizations can afford to divert some of their investment to experimentation.
When you are a smaller more limited business you may not have that luxury for this type of activity.
Your better bet is to learn from the investment others are making and jump when the time is right for you.
Use your experimentation bucket (of time) for things that will differentiate your business in the marketplace.
Google Plus will not actually kill your business. But the inability to maintain focus and discern real true opportunities can.
I'm not saying that participating in Google Plus is a bad move for everyone right now. Every social network will have a common niche. If yours is spending time there then by all means go, jump, play.
If yours is not, then I would urge you to maintain your social media focus in the places where your audience actually is for now and use your time to make your business more awesome than it was yesterday.
If You Want+
If you are interested in getting involved in Google Plus for your business I'd urge you to take a look at some of these:
- Google Plus Pages for Small Business Marketing
- What a Google+ Brand Page Could Mean for Your Small Business
I'd also consider reading into some of the impacts it may have on your site, and other interesting factors:
Bottom line here is to remember what your business focus is and to not let yourself get distracted by the new shiny kid on the block.
If you determine that this is something that is right for you and your business then go for it.
The great thing about social media is that it isnt just one tool. Social media is a way of operating and engaging on the web. Transfer what you have learned across your other social properties here and youll be well on your way.
Kristy Bolsinger is a Senior Associate at PwC in Seattle, WA. She has previously worked at Ant's Eye View (acquired by PwC in 2012), and RealNetworks (GameHouse). Prior to her time at RealNetworks, and Ant's Eye View - Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing her MBA at Willamette University. She maintains a social media blog and can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.