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Technology for Your Business


Marketing and Social Media


Socialnomics Video
This video gives some fascinating facts on social media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, looking at why your business might want to harness the sites to reach customers.

Social Media and Your Business
Learn the right way and the wrong way to use social media to promote your small business, according to this Forbes article, which clears up the complexities of wikis, blogs and other social media sites.

Social Media: Using All the Tools
A 2010 study concluded that nearly one in five small business owners have integrated social media into their business plans. This article explores the most popular social media sites, statistically speaking, and how business owners are using each unique tool to identify and reach new customers.

Facebook & Marketing
Click here for inexpensive, affordable techniques for small business owners to use Facebook for marketing. Examples include tips on engaging visitors, as well as how to find potential customers and better understand current ones. 

Twitter for Business
This New York Times piece explores the many ways businesses can use Twitter to better their brands and bottom lines.

Six Social Media Case Studies
Small businesses have specific needs when it comes to targeting their customers. This article gives case studies to show how certain strategies produced positive results.

How to Promote Your Social Media
This site provides seven strategies to get people to visit your online efforts– such as social media-friendly business cards and QR codes.

Make Money Making Things
Do you sew, make jewelry or create any kind of art or craft? The website Etsy is a marketplace to find buyers for your unique creations.

Using QR Codes
Anyone with a smartphone can scan those new bar codes, called Quick Response or QT codes, and be directed right to your website or email address. The best part, they're free to create. This site is is one of the more well-known and proven sites to build QT codes.


Purchasing Hardware and Software


The Basics on Buying
What, when and how to buy computer hardware for your small business.

10 Very Useful Business Programs
Most small business owners know they need Windows, but consider these 10 other applications. Some, like MailChimp, a kind of email marketing assistant, may surprise you.,2817,2364450,00.asp

Picking Your Company Computer
Laptop or iPad? Big picture advice from the Wall Street Journal for purchasing the perfect computer.

Avoid These Ten Mistakes
Are you using illegal software? Have you protected your hardware from potential power surges? Browse these top 10 tech mistakes small business can make (and see the solutions).

Using QuickBooks
Accounting software can help you save time, get organized and learn more about how well your business is performing. Your local Business Resource Network and Lumity have trainings on using the best-selling software, QuickBooks, or you can learn more online.


Getting Found on the Web


Help Google Find Your Website
Increase visibility and searchability with these tips from Google.

Put Your Company on the Map
You can put your company’s name and location on maps from Google, Bing and other websites for free.

Make Yelp and Other Review Sites Work for You
You can’t remove or change customer reviews at online sites like Yelp. But you can officially sign up as the firm—they call it “unlocking” or “claiming”—and help make your company look good.

Join Your Community Portal
Each of the five Smart Communities has a neighborhood portal—a website dedicated to local news and information. Add your business to the directory listing for free.


Creating a Website


Where to Turn to Build a Website
You can build a nice website for your business for very little money. Here are five of the top website-building services available.

Top Tips for Website Design
Think about fonts. Don’t forget smart phones. These sites have good, pretty simple advice on things to think about when making design choices for a business website.

Tracking Website Traffic
Google offers a free Analytics service that can be linked to any website, allowing business owners to see what pages visitors are looking at, what search words are used, where viewers are coming from, and more.


Accepting Credit Cards


The Basics on Accepting Credit Cards
Some basic information on accepting credit card payments. This article is for online companies, but the basic facts are useful.

A new way to accept credit cards is through your smartphone. Square allows you to accept credit or debit cards via iPhone, iPad and Android enabled devices with a free card reader that attaches to the headphone jack. The company charges a fee of 2.75% from every transaction, but there are no additional fees.


Technology and Business: The Overview


Stay Secure Online
Passwords, firewalls and antivirus: Ten data-security measures you can’t do without.

How Does Google Think?
Look deep into the mind of Google with this five-part series from CNBC.

Small Business and Technology: The Big Picture
Technology is an investment, not simply a cost. This and other tech rules your business must follow in order to thrive.

First Step Before Building an Online Business
Research is of utmost importance when it comes to starting an online business.

Find training and internet access near you

Use the City of Chicago's mapping tool to find libraries and other locations with free services.

Tech Locator