By Rieva Lesonsky.
Are you living in fear of Yelp? Some small business owners seem to view the online review and ratings site with a terror second only to that reserved for an IRS audit. That’s a big mistake, because Yelp is a huge influence on consumer buying behavior. Unfortunately, far too many small businesses aren’t even listed on Yelp because their owners are afraid of getting a negative review. If your small business is one that relies on local customers, such as a bar, restaurant, retail store or personal service provider, I’m afraid you really can’t afford to ignore Yelp any longer.