Launching a new business is intimidating, but getting a good website and web presence up and in place quickly should be easy. Follow a few straightforward steps when you’re beginning your work to plan your business and you’ll be well on your way to having a great online presence before you open your doors.
Establish your online presence:
Don’t feel you have to wait to set up your online presence! BEFORE you decide on a business name, see what the options are available for domain names. We recommend namecheap.com. They are inexpensive, and great to work with. When you need to manage your dns it’s super easy- which really can make a big difference in your time and money in the future! Why do this before? It will save you the heartache of falling in love with the perfect business name, only to find that it’s already in use, or for sale, but at a price you can’t pay.
When you’ve found the domain and business name you want, go ahead and set up a placeholder page. Not the “Under Construction” ugly mess that some website domains will give you for free. Take the time to find a web developer who can make you a one-page site for very little money. We do- and it’s really worth it to our clients.
Here’s an example of a page we created for a client recently:
Why a page with all this right away?
- It gives you an established business point of contact. While you’re getting through the trials of starting up, you have a business url, and business email address (more on this in a minute) ready to go to use for all your business forms.
- It gives you a perfect place for your elevator pitch. You know- that 30 second talk on your business you’ve always got in the back of your mind. It goes right here, on this page for all the world to read.
- Search engines will like it. Google, Bing, Yahoo all appreciate businesses that have been established. A site page, with some clear content describing the business, says to the search engines, and the world, that you mean business. Don’t wait, get to it.
- But what about the design- branding and establishing that? You will. Right now, have your website designer create a simple text logo, and use some pleasing photography and colors you like to create a professional image. You’ll work on creating the perfect full site in the future.
Establish Your Business Email:
We’ve all seen it, the business card with the email address. Don’t do it. Unless you absolutely need a personal email address, or you are using a personal card, there is no reason to not have a professional business email address that is yourname@yourdomain.
Worried about managing multiple email accounts? Don’t be, any developer with access to your site hosting can provide you with a forwarding account to forward the business email to your personal email. Gmail, Thunderbird, Outlook and other email programs also give you options for processing your outgoing mail with signatures. Allowing you to determine if your outgoing mail is for business (with a business signature) or not.
The easy part is done- now get your business up and running!
You’ve got a placeholder page and a business email address all set up. You’re good to go. Sorry, this is where the web developer gets to rest and wait for you to come back with updates and content. Once you get your business rolling, make sure you return to the site and work with a developer to really get it set up to meet your businesses needs. All further website work should be done in the background on a “hidden” server so your placeholder page remains visible until replaced with your new full website.