Feeling challenged finding new business and opportunities in this economic climate? One of my little secrets is a great website that sends you web search results which you can use in a number of ways.

The website is www.gigaalert.com. It looks for the new items in topics/searches you have specified and sends you a daily (or weekly) update of them by email. The beauty of this is you never have to go back and trollthrough material you've read online before. Please don't think "what's the big deal?" Here are several ideas to get you started.

1. New business

Do you respond to RFP's? Do you look for business activity that you can fit into, such as what construction is occurring? Have Gigaalert send the search to you, then decide if you want to investigate. I use it to help look for speaking opportunities. One of my alerts is to search for words "conference 2013" in a website ending in .com.au and where the word scientific does not appear.


2. Help your clients

In this economy great customer service will shine brightly. Don't you agree? Let Gigaalert help you to help your clients. If you know their interests, their industry problems, what their roles and responsibilities are, you can sift through the alerts for relevant material and then via email send the information to them.

One of my very clever clients, Leisa Donlan the CEO of the Rotational Moulders Association Australasia has been doing this for years. In her words "Our customers (members) operate in a constantly changing market. Information is vital. We use Google Alerts for daily updates on new articles on the internet relative to our customers' interests. That's great on its own, but often not all is pertinent.

We personally sort out the stories that are specifically relevant to our members interest (Eg Water Tanks) and then send a weekly "Media Update" tailored to suit them, which includes just a few sentences on the story and the hyperlink to the rest. If they want to continue reading, it's just a click. Our members love it!"

3. Check your competition

Why not keep an eye on what your competition is doing? Set an alert with an individual's name, the company name or a product as the search term. You might want to hone it to exclude their website to ascertain what is happening outside of their company.

4. Social media reporting

Have searched looking for your name, your company name appearing online. Suggestion. Use the qualifier to exclude when it appears in your website. You'll know about that already.