Inc. Magazine Jumps Into Small Business Web Market

Boston, Massachusetts-based Inc. Magazine announced today that it has launched a Web site that is designed to deliver management resources to small business owners. As part of a cross-marketing agreement, the new portal will showcase content from the E-Commerce Times, and the E-Commerce Times will feature Inc.com material in its Small Business Advisor section.

The Inc.com site will also offer management solutions, editorial content and community functions to help business owners succeed, and comes at a time when companies are beginning to focus upon the small to medium-size business Web market.

Winstar and CBS launched Office.com earlier this week, and office supply companies, including OfficeMax, Staples and Office Depot have been developing Internet presence and affiliation programs for the past few months.

Until last summer, small business owners had little to choose from on the Internet. There were numerous informational sites produced by consultants and a few business magazine sites, but these sites consisted of archived articles and self-promotion.

A Small Business One-Stop?

“We want Inc.com to be a top-20 Internet site,” Inc.com president and CEO Bob LaPointe told the E-Commerce Times. “We believe the services and applications we offer help small business owners increase sales, which makes our site very sticky.”

LaPointe added, “Our site will help small businesses save time and money by providing fast, easy access to a wide assortment of business solutions and management information. Inc.com offers a complete aggregation of resources, information and advice for improving business efficiency and generating revenue.”

Inc.com Recommends Small Business Solutions

One of Inc.com’s primary missions is to locate, package and recommend solutions for meeting small business challenges. The site’s staff selected 100 Web-delivered applications and tools from dozens of providers. The providers are independent firms that submitted their products and services to the site’s staff for review and testing.

The business application solutions recommended by Inc.com include services and functions such as online payroll, 401(K) programs, financing, recruiting tools, salary surveys, business planning, Web site building, business valuation and retirement planning.

Network of 24 Sites

In addition to recommending business solutions, the site offers editorial content and community features through Inc.com’s network of 24 sites. Visitors can navigate the site through pull-down menus of categories and sub-topics.

The site is divided into two major sections, Company Functions and Business Challenges. In Company Functions, there are 10 sites covering marketing and advertising, finance and capital, human resources, information technology and more.

In Business Challenges, there are 14 sites on subjects including starting a business, writing a business plan, increasing sales, conducting e-commerce and more.

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