I had no idea until recently that Yahoo even had a “Small Business” product. Now, I’m not always up-to-date on each and every app and product available to small business owners, (the internet is a big place after all), but with a company as large as Yahoo, I’m a bit surprised that I hadn’t heard of Yahoo Small Business sooner. That tells me something – it tells me the other small business owners I know aren’t using it. It also tells me that there’s relatively no buzz about it. I haven’t read anything about it on Twitter. My friends aren’t talking about it on forums.
Regardless of where Yahoo Small Business came from and how long it’s been around, their new Marketing Dashboard did catch my attention. Their slogan is “Your business revealed.”
Sounds good, right? I have an ecommerce site and I always feel like there’s more I should be doing… like there’s more information and metrics I should be tracking… but frankly, it can be a bit overwhelming figuring out what apps to use and what information I can do without.
Yahoo Small Business Marketing Dashboard promises to help small business owners:
- Get a clear picture of your marketing results and reputation, all in one place.
- Discover new marketing opportunities to help your business grow.
- Simple to set up, easy to use. Designed for busy small business owners, not marketing experts.
Sounds good, right? And it’s free. I like free.
So I gave it a try. I’m always looking for new and innovative ways to market my business and understand my business analytics.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t even get through the signup page. At the bottom of the page, it asked me to select a “primary category” for my business. Ok. Simple enough. “Retail Shopping” best fit the site I was planning to use the Marketing Dashboard for, but then it also asked me to add a “sub-category.”
Sure, seems simple enough, right? But there’s not an actually list to select from. No drop-down menu. Nope. The instructions are, “Type a letter or word to see a list of sub-categories.” Ok. I tried it. “Handbags.” Nope, “Invalid.” Ok… how about “Women’s Accessories”?
No. Invalid again. Hrm.
I spent about 20 minutes trying to find a Sub-Category that fit my business. No luck. Unfortunately for me, Sub-Category is required in order to sign up. I tried to enter “other” in the hopes I could squeak through by being non-specific. Nope. The only “other” option in the Retail Shopping category is “Other Arts and Crafts.” Not really what I needed.
Frustrated, I gave up.
Yahoo Small Business does offer a toll free number in the US for customer support. However I am halfway around the world at the moment and their hours of 7am until 5pm PST don’t really work for me. They also have an online customer support form, so I filled that out. We’ll see what happens.
For now, I’m going to keep looking for marketing and reputation management services that are a better fit for my needs as a small business owner.
To be fair, Yahoo’s marketing Dashboard was just released earlier this month, so it’s entirely possible they will get any bugs fixed soon. I’d be willing to give it another shot. After all, if it’s free, it’s me. (As long as it’s not too time consuming or confusing to use.)