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The race is on

The UK’s first ever Home Enterprise Day is scheduled for Friday 20th November and home business website, Enterprise Nation, has fired the starting gun on a race to follow every home business owner on Twitter, by this date. Here we look at why home based businesses should be using this powerful tool.

What is it?

If you’re unsure as to what Twitter is and does, essentially it’s a micro-blogging tool. It asks ‘What are you doing?’ and it’s up to you to reply in less than 140 characters. Someone has referred to it as ‘the SMS of the internet’ which just about sums it up. And here are four good reasons to sign up.

1. It’s big and it’s growing – an article dated July 2007 refers to Twitter having ‘at least 340 000 users with a public account’ – in November 2008 Forrester Research estimated this had risen to 4-5 million users. Wow. In March 2009, mobile phone company O2 came out with the headline ‘Business Tweeting at record levels!’ – the release estimated over 700,000 small businesses using Twitter, sending nearly three million tweets a day. The release went on to say:

“Twitter has been providing UK small businesses with a range of benefits, including cost cutting, marketing and recruiting new staff. This has meant nearly a third of the small businesses we spoke to have saved up to £1,000, while one in ten saved up to £5,000. Meanwhile over a quarter found that staying in touch with other small businesses helped boost their confidence.”

Which brings us nicely on to the business benefits.

2. It’s good for business – Twitter is one of the most effective tools we’ve ever seen for promoting yourself as an expert in your field. Post links to interesting articles, share facts and offer hot tips and you will be effortlessly showing you know your stuff. This will attract existing and potential customers and make them feel more inclined to buy from you. Find partners, customers and suppliers using a tool that takes only minutes each day to maintain.

3. It’s good for you – step in to the virtual corridor of Twitter and meet new friends. Homeworkers can miss the social interaction of an office. Twitter offers that environment, without you having to get dressed up and travel to it. And, of course, you can turn it off whenever you want!

4. It’s free – which other piece of kit do you know that introduces you to new business, new opportunities and new friends – for free.

If you’re not yet on Twitter, sign up today at www.twitter.com and if you already are, please help us in our race by following us on the link below. Reply, retweet and please tell all your homeworking friends!

www.twitter.com/e_nation

Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’

Home Enterprise Day will take place on Friday 20th November and is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week www.gew.org.uk

Note from Women Unlimited: If you’re on Twitter you why not follow us as well on www.twitter.com/women_unlimited

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About Emma Jones

Emma Jones is Founder and Editor of Enterprise Nation, the home business website. She has successfully started two businesses from home offices in London, Manchester and rural Shropshire. Following a career with an international accountancy firm, Emma started her first home based business at the age of 27 and successfully sold it just 15 months after launch. Redbrick Enterprises Ltd was founded in 2002 to advise the public sector on effective homeworking. Spotting a gap in the market to provide information and inspiration to homeworkers, Emma launched Enterprise Nation [www.enterprisenation.com], the home business website, in January 2006. The website is a free resource for people starting and growing a business at home and has a readership of more than 390,000 people. As well as site content, there is also a free fortnightly e-newsletter and podcast. Emma’s first book on how to start a business from home Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home will be published by Harriman House in May 2008.

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