In this day and age, trying to start a business without using the greatest asset available to trade since currency – the internet – is not only foolhardy but can also be very expensive and will make the whole process a thousand times harder than it needs to be.
Of course, times were simpler when many of the well established brands and corporations we know and love were first brought about, but even they now have an online presence, and it cost a lot more to start and keep a company in those days.
Why Do I Need a Website?
Nowadays anyone can post anything on the internet. The trick for your business is how you can utilise this easy to access, free and universal resource effectively and to maximum effect.
A well made and intuitively designed website can tell potential clients and investors more about your business and your team than any press release or business meeting. Websites that are easy to use, professional and informative can help reassure clients of the legitimacy of the business as well as make them more likely to engage with you about potential work.
In the world of online shopping and marketing, a website can help redirect traffic to you as well as work as the most invaluable marketing tool you put in to practice to tell people about yourselves and exactly what you do.
A business card, letter or poster can be limiting, but a website can bring together the perfect blend of multimedia and information in the best possible way to promote your business. It is quite truly limitless.
What Do I Need to Think About When Setting Up my Website?
The first thing you’ll need to do is register a domain name – the name that you can direct people to and the one you’ll build your website on. Think of it as buying a plot of land on to which you plan to build your shop. If you have a business name already, then try and hunt down the best way to make it into a domain name.
If your business still doesn’t have a name, this is the point you have to finally decide. This domain name will be the source of all of your web activity; of course you might employ social media or marketing and advertising websites to get wider coverage, but the core of your businesses online presence begins and ends with this domain name.
Next you have decide on the theme of your website – how it will look and how it will feel. This is where you need to be you’re most creative. If you already have an established small business and are looking to develop with an online presence, then things like colours and styles are likely already set and ready to go. There are lots of ideas on wordpress.org.
If you’ve got a new work from home business, this is the first time you try to develop a brand: something that will set you away from the competition and make you unique.
How Do I Get A Website?
You need to decide on who will ‘host’ your website. All this means is who will look after the maintenance and all the technical stuff that will ensure your website looks its best. There are many free online services which let you create your website and then pay a premium to make them independent (a unique domain name rather than their company name followed by yours).
These sites can help you get a real sense of what a website is like as well as letting you make tweaks and developing it – all before its available to the public. You can make it look just how you want!
You should also read our article about backing up your data.