Friday, May 1, 2015

How to Use Google Forms for your Small Business

Hello Friends!

I recently discovered an amazing (and free!) resource for my small business and I wanted to share my secret with you. It's not a secret, really. In fact, you may already be using this tool - if so, then you're a step ahead of me!

It's called Google Forms

Using this tool provides so many options. I have two small businesses, one is sharing Essential Oils and the other is my Etsy shop. I'm using one form currently to provide a wellness assessment for friends and family who are interested in learning more about how essential oils might benefit them. So I created a form using a combination of multiple choice questions and text answers to gather information from respondents. I posted it on my personal Facebook page with an invitation for people to complete the form if they wanted more information about essential oils. Then, I download the responses into an excel file so I can easily see the information in one organized location and follow up with everyone.

If you'd like to test out Google Forms for yourself, follow these simple steps:

Go to the link above.
Click on Go To Google Forms.
Done! You're in a new form that you can edit and use however you want!

I like to do the following to get started setting up my forms....
1) at the top left, name your form (this is helpful for obvious reasons)
2) think about the question format that works best for what you need - having multiple choice answers, allowing folks to type in their own answers, etc.
3) create your custom form

You'll see a box with a question - fill in the question title and then edit the TYPE of question. For example, if you're asking for someone's name or contact information, you'd probably want to use a text or paragraph response. If you wanted to ask a question such as "Have you ever used such-and-such product" then you might want to select multiple choice.You can even choose "check boxes" and provide some standard answers and allow folks to choose from your list. 

After your first question is set up the way you want, you can mark it as a required response or leave it optional. Next, you can click on "add item" and you'll have another question box to complete. It's so simple!

Once you have all your questions set up, you can add a note to the bottom of the page that folks will see after they complete the form. I like to add a thank you note here, and any other details about how soon I'll be contacting them or something like that. 

Lastly, you will click on "view live form" to make sure you like the way it appears. Then at the top of the main page, click the box that says "Send Form". A new box will open up and you can copy the URL for the form to add to your social media or emails. YAY!

The fun part is seeing responses. You will be able to view the results on your google drive, and you can even analyze the results with a graph or chart. 

 Have fun and be creative with this amazing tool....and let me know how YOU use it!

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