Google plans to launch yet another new service that may provide some exciting opportunities to small-business owners. Google Helpouts is a Google Hangout-like service that lets you charge a fee for providing one-on-one expert advice in a live video chat, Entrepreneur.com reports.
Google Helpouts aims to support a marketplace that is increasingly moving toward freelance work and sharing. An Intuit study [PDF] shows that about 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is expected to be self-employed by 2020. Both freelancers/consultants and small-business owners will be able to take advantage of Google Helpouts to grow their businesses.
The service isn’t available to the public yet, but you can sign up to be notified when it goes live. Here are two key ways you’ll be able to take advantage of Google Helpouts:
- Offer services. You — or a company employee — can get listed as an expert on Google Helpouts, so that people who have a question in your area of expertise can turn to you for answers. Like YouTube videos, this can help you reach new customers. You can designate the dates and times when you are available. You can make money by charging a fee for the video conference sessions (collected through Google Wallet) and establish or bolster your credentials in your industry. Experts who offer their services on Helpouts will pay a 20 percent fee to Google.
- Ask questions. Google is recruiting experts in computers, electronics, education, arts, and music to participate in the service according to the International Business Times. As a small-business owner, if you have a question about an IT issue or about which new electronic device or mobile app may work best for your application, you can consult with an expert on Helpouts for a modest fee. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to hire a consultant who can help you resolve specific issues.