Review: Does “Yahoo! Small Business” Cut It in the Online Corporate Marketplace? Ask Google….

See? This is why small business is going global in a big way. We’ve got the Google Apps Marketplace. And we’ve also got this tough contender called “Yahoo! Small Business.” Ah, the choices, choices, choices. As efficient as are trusty call centers and auto attendants are, even they would implode from the sheer stress of having to pick a certain marketing/e-mail/advertising platform.

Loving the Yahoo! Small Business

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Oh, let’s get down to business and pray to the Google gods that they don’t strike me down with their thunder and lightning from cyberspace. Because I have to say there are some heavy benefits here with the Yahoo! Small Business.

So this age-old internet mega-giant isn’t about a gimmicky exclamation point and a guy calling out into the wilderness the barbaric yawp of “ya-hooooooooooo!” Yahoo! has gone ultra-professional and ready to put up some major dukes against the Google Monster after always going second place to it. (To be fair, though, when it comes to the internet, “second place” isn’t bad at all!)

Getting Down to the Benefits

I stress ease of use here. That’s not to say Google never was easy — but Yahoo! in particular makes it easy for new web entrepreneurs to break into their given industry by utilizing this Yahoo! Business marketing suite.

You’ve got….

  • Domain Packages
  • Business E-Mail Packages
  • Marketing Support
  • Dashboard
  • eCommerce Content
  • Site Builder

And a partridge in a pear tree (if it were Christmastime).

This might all seem like par for the course, and when it comes to the internet, par’s not enough — but just know that the unique feature to compliment the slick benefits here, that run well by the way, is the help feature for potential prospective small business owners looking for a digital presence to purchase.

And not just a link leading you to a huge page filled with more links that lead to paragraphs and paragraphs of tiresome and trite explanation on how the Yahoo! web site works — rather, this help feature has a contextual advantage, always on the screen at all times, all thanks to what’s called a “usability lab” where Yahoo! staffers can actually track common issues with registering and business plan selections and tweak their Yahoo! Small Business service whenever any of these common issues show up.

To make it short, people looking to set up their small business on Yahoo! might just never get any issues! In other words, premium customer service. Ease of use. A new business set up online in no time.

That is, of course, what the name of the game is for the internet, right? — convenient and quick.

On the Other Hand….

And bear with me on this, because it can be easy to see these points as strengths. Nothing against Yahoo! (Please don’t rain sulfur on me, or lightning bolts like Google would do), but in all honesty the Small Business package really isn’t that, well, small….

Yahoo! offers a lot. And I get it, really. It’s nifty to have options. There are many different types of services to buy. You’ve got….

  • Basic Domain Cost – $9.95/Year, Includes Starter Web Page, 24/7 Support
  • Upgraded Domain Cost – $11.95/month, Hosted Web Site with 2 BG of Disk Space and 25 E-Mail Accounts
  • eCommerce Package – $300/month, Site Monitoring, Security, All the Basics of the Two First Plans and More

And that’s just the start.

While it might be pretty impressive, the problem with so many options is that the prospective small business entrepreneur might get overwhelmed and confused, not knowing what might be best for the particular business idea. What sucks is even the nifty contextual help feature wouldn’t help much with that problem. Sometimes a potential small business owner may not know what the heck he or she needs! The point of knowing is just getting your feet wet; Yahoo! seems to provide flotation devices. It’s admirable, but have a little faith in the fish knowing how to swim!

The point of starting a business, unfortunately, is, well, starting the business. That usually means there will be no ‘options.’ Just one way to go, and knowing that it’s the way to go without wondering if it’s the right way to go.

Sometimes basic service is basically best. I mean, who in God’s name would need 25 e-mail accounts??

Covering All the Bases

Still, the idea is that someone out there might need that. And that’s obviously the point Yahoo! is trying to make. They want to be all-inclusive. Fine. I applaud them.

And Yahoo! certainly knows how to work it, given they’ve been around since the caveman.

This is important for you readers out there, because quite frankly I’m going to do what nay a reviewer has done: shun the review. That’s right: although I’ve reviewed Yahoo! Small Business, the important thing is to try and cover your bases by exploring all providers. Namely Google. They’re the big competition.

Ask yourself if Google’s really sweating over this Yahoo! Small Business thing. Ask yourself if it really matters. Is the online stratosphere for small businesses really that big that there’s no need for major competition here? Is that why Yahoo! still is around? (And MySpace as well even though Facebook has spanked the site to Kingdom Come)

You be the judge. After all, without you, we wouldn’t even have an internet.

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