Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Microsoft Office Live Small Business

I originally started this article for a business social network that I am a member of. Since I felt this topic is applicable to individuals, home base businesses, social groups and clubs, it’s in my home computing blog.

An option for the small business owner with limited financial resources and desiring a Web presence with a little extra is Microsoft Office live Small Business (http://smallbusiness.officelive.com/ ). This suite of Web-base tools offered with different features can meet this need through its basic option. The feature to have a custom domain name with private registration is available free for the first year and after this promotional period it is $14.95 a year. This includes up to 100 branded email accounts which conveys a professional image online.

Creating the site requires no coding and the mechanisms for this are the Site Designer and Page Editor tabs. Site Designer allows for a selection of professional looking theme templates, 25 to be exact, ranging from Accounting to Travel & Leisure and includes a choice for a custom theme image. There is also help features available on each page that are task-specific. Page Editor has Microsoft’s familiar toolbar options for editing your pages. If you are familiar with HTML, there is an HTML module that lets you insert your own code or widget code to allow the addition of Skype buttons, blog feeds, slideshows, YouTube, social networks etc.

Based on my experience with Office Live Small Business, it is a viable option for a business trying to create a Web presence whose budgetary constraints do not allow funding for this expenditure. As business finances improve and business requirements in this area expand, upgrades are available with additional features to meet the growing needs of the business.

Free Features:
Web Site – Includes easy-to-use Web site design and management tools, traffic reports, and 500 MB storage space

Custom Domain – Help customers find you online -.com, .org, .net, .info (free for first year) and up to 100 company-branded email accounts 5 GB of storage

Contact Manager – Management of sales opportunities, contact information, and tracking interaction with customers

Business Applications-
  • Document Manager – Store and share company documents in a central location for easy access and version control
  • Workspaces – Collaborate and share information in a password-protected environment that you control
  • Project Manager – Plan, assign and monitor projects and tasks associated with them

Support - Around the clock support, FAQs, Comment Message boards and online Resource Center for advice and how-to articles

Additional Features:
E-Commerce – With Store Manager you can sell your products on your Web site as well as on eBay, provide a shopping cart with the theme of your Web site showing a seamless integration, accept credit card payments, confirm purchases via email and generate invoices

E-mail Marketing – Send professional-looking newsletters, promotions, new product announcement and product and company updates

Search Marketing – AdManager allows you to advertise on popular search engines, target people who are already searching for the product and/or service that you offer, targets advertising in geographical areas you specify

And More - Additional storage, domain names, email accounts and business users can be added

For further clarity, visit the Small Business Office Live link above and get full details of the features as well as view a demo video

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!


Anonymous said...

Hi Ava. Thanks for posting about Office Live Small Business. Glad to hear you like the product!

AvaByGrace said...

Thank for reading Amanda. It is an awesome product and really can help the small business person who can't afford the big bucks of a Web developer. I felt this topic was quite appropriate at this time with the economy the way it is. Again, thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ava,
Wanted to reach out to you again. We've got a great new e-book that just came out. It's called "Let's Talk: Social Media for Samll Business" and was written by John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing. Please check it out if you have a chance - http://smallbusiness.officelive.com/socialmedia

AvaByGrace said...

Thanks Amanda. I downloaded the eBook and will review it tomorrow. I am working on two new postings for MS Office Live Workspace and Microsoft Live@Edu which should be posted later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks again.