Google+ (Google Plus) has been gaining momentum since its entry into competition with Facebook. While neither social media outlet will admit to outright competition, it’s obvious that the two mega-players are vying for our attention (time) and our attention (money). For those of us who are managing or directing a small business or a nonprofit organization, Google+ has not yet become all that useful; it does not offer business pages – only personal pages.

However, we all know the power, smarts and leverage that Google can muster and so we also know that it will eventually make Google+ pages for businesses a reality. That being said, should you be prepared to leverage Google’s far-reaching influence for your own profit,  return on investment (ROI), social media strategy and search engine optimization (SEO)?

The answer is not, “yes.” The answer is, “absolutely, yes.”

Are you sitting there thinking that you just don’t have time for yet another social media sponge to suck up all your online time? That you have more important online tasks to attend to – like website updates & maintenance, writing your business blog post, updating your product list and streaming it to Google Merchant, or maybe even the basics of keeping up with your web-based accounting, preparing quotes and responding to Requests For Proposals (RFP)? Not to mention the time you currently spend keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or any number of other online networking sites – I mean, you are already spending lots of time being engaging and helpful on those social media properties, right?

Goodness, sakes. Then comes Google+.

Consider this: Google is the #1 search engine in the world. Google is the #1 online advertising entity in the world. Google has the most pervasive systems in world, all working in conjunction with each other, at some level: Gmail, Google Checkout, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google AdWords, Google AdSense, YouTube, the whole Google Apps Suite, and Google+. That just scratches the surface of how deep and how wide Google runs.

So, then, it makes sense to be prepared to use Google+ to your fullest advantage. One idea in today’s popular thinking is that using Google+ now, with your personal account, is the best way to be ready to use it effectively when the business side of it goes “live.”