Home | Contact | Advertising
Small Business, Information, Resources, Articles - SmartBiz.com
Members Login:
Sign Up Forgot?
SALES & MARKETING
Marketing Online
Email Marketing
Search Marketing
Selling
PR
ONLINE BUSINESS
E-Commerce
Website Creation
Productivity
Accounting
CRM
Web-based Software/SaaS
BUSINESS STRATEGIES
Case Studies
Smart Answers
Videos
Podcasts
Smart Blog
Human Resources
Management
BITS & BYTES
PCs & Online Equipment
Mobile Computing
Security/Business Continuity
Telecom/Office Networks
Small Business Products
FORUMS & RESOURCES
Free White Papers
Tools and Calculators
SmartBiz Forum
Legal & Business Forms
News Feeds
Featured Webcasts & Videos
Franchise Offers


 
SMALL BUSINESS AND STARTUPS INTERNET TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES
Search SmartBiz:
Forms and
Downloads
Free
White Papers
Special
Offers
SmartBiz
Blog
Free Email
Newsletters
Management
Internet Tools for New Ventures
Email ArticleEmail Article
Print ArticlePrint Article
Increase Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Decrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size
Del.icio.us
Digg This
Bookmark and Share

By Jeff Cornwall

There are a variety of tools readily available on the Internet that aspiring entrepreneurs can use in developing new business ideas. Here are a couple of ideas:

Want to find some cool technology gathering dust on a shelf at a university somewhere? Try out the iBridge site developed by the Kauffman Foundation.

University researchers, industry representatives, and entrepreneurs can use the iBridge website to search for innovations that, until now, have been lost and untapped behind university walls. With more than 700 research projects listed, the iBridge website is fast becoming a place for researchers and technology transfer officers to post research from their universities, as well as the place to go to find research occurring at other institutions. The website is designed to ease the transaction burden on university technology transfer offices, and encourage more open and efficient access to innovations of interest to entrepreneurs and industry representatives alike.

Have an idea for an Internet business, but finding it hard to know what your potential customer is thinking about? Try using one of the tools set up to optimize keyword searches. I heard about this creative use of a free tool on this morning's Wall Street Journal radio show. These tools are set up to help in Internet marketing by showing what key words are being used most often. (Here and here are a couple of examples).

Assume I was setting up an Internet golf equipment store. By typing in keywords like "putter" or "golf balls", I can find out what brands are getting the most searches on the Internet. Or assume I am thinking about selling laptop cases on the Internet. I see that in the month of December 1724 searched for laptop cases with the word "pink" in their search, while only 77 included the word purple. That gives me a clue on what color to carry in my inventory.

These tools can help me see the potential size of the market, what brands and related products are most popular in searches, and even what colors and features I should carry. It is a great tool to first get a feel for how much Internet traffic is possible and to learn more specifically what these potential customers are thinking about.

These tools are set up for web search optimization, but they can also be used to get the pulse of the market. For simple searches like this, most of these sites are free to use. While active web marketers are very familiar with these tools, they can be very helpful for any entrepreneur wanting to get more data about their potential market. If I can figure out how to use them with my limited technical skills and general fear of technology, anyone can!

Jeffrey Cornwall is the Director of Belmont University.

Dr. Jeffrey Cornwall, a director of Belmont University, holds its Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship.
Add a Comment View Comments
Small Business Home

SmartBiz Shop
Promotional Items with Your logo
 
     
 
Smart Services
Spacer
Spacer
Spacer
Spacer
Add Your Logo Now
Spacer
Get Your Business Online
Build a Website Host Your Website Market Your Business Online
Business Form Downloads
Legal Forms Business Forms
Smart Forums
Recent Postings
Stimulus or "Pork"ulus?
Blog: How Do You Know What Insurance Is Right for Your Business?
If Layoffs Are Necessary, Protect Your Business
Blog - Do You Have Email and Internet Usage Policies in Place?
MORE
Home | Contact | Advertising
© 2017-2019 SmartBiz. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement and Terms of Service
Small Business Home | Business Tools | Online Business | Bits & Bytes | Sales & Marketing | Business Strategies | Forums & Resources
Email Marketing & HTML Email Driven By: Hosted By:   Design By:
Email Marketing
 
XML LogoRSS Logo
Receive our stories via SmartBiz XML/RSS feeds.
Include our stories on your website through SmartBiz javascript content feeds.