It is difficult in the 21st century to imagine a business without a web page of some sort. When people want to check out what a business has to offer, the automatic thing is to head over to a trusty search engine, input the name and they expect to see a site with bells and whistles. Or, at least, some kind of primitive web page.
The nature of web development in business has made it so that almost anyone can have a go at making a page for their small shop or at least have a look at instructions online to make something. However, there are a small amount of businesses that don’t have the necessary skills to get online. Here is a small step by step guide to getting online, and a few tips to getting by without breaking the bank. And if you know about getting online anyway, there could be a few things that you’ve missed out. It never hurts to go over the basics once in awhile.
Register a Domain Name
Registering a domain name that is in line with your business is one of the first things you need to think about if starting a business online. The domain name, i.e. the name that is on the bar on top of the internet page, will be the first thing potential customers will see, so make it a name that is close to your business name. While the exact name may not be available for you (there may be a business somewhere else in the world with your name), try and make it as close as you can.
You may have a friend or a relative that have a few skills to set up a website for you, but if you fancy a go at setting one up yourself using WordPress. It is a tool that enables you to set up a website and content, like pictures and articles. While it isn’t a great way to show off your business in a flashy way, you have still got the business online.
If you are wondering where to begin as far as spreading the word of your business, you don’t have to look far beyond using social media to get yourself out there. It’s very straightforward to set up an account on any of the main social networking sites, and when up and running, you can create a “page” which people can “like”, and then you have somewhere to spread the word. The other benefit is that people can “share” your page, and you have people instantly marketing your business. Just make sure you have an email address to get you online.
Make Sure You Can Be Reached Online And Offline
Being contactable by phone or letter is fine, but people will prefer to fire off a quick email. If you are able to brand your email address with your business name, for example “[email protected]”, or if you have a few employees that need to be reached online, you can give them their first names, such as “[email protected]”. That way, it makes the business appear more personable.
Growing Your Online Presence
Marketing your business in the days of posters and ads in the paper are one thing when you’re a small business. But now you can market your business far and wide, in fact, as far as the ends of the earth (if you so desired). As already mentioned, social media is a great way to market your business. But if you wanted to shift your marketing strategy up a notch, there are ways to catch the eye of potential customers. Video cameras are a lot cheaper than twenty years ago, so why not make a video and upload it to a video player site where it can get viewed, and you can link it to your website.
You can enter the world of blogging. A blog is an online article you can type up and place on your webpage, and is normally done in a conversational or informal style, and it can be about anything. People do blogs about their pets, interests, or anything inbetween. In terms of your business, you can design it to keep the readers updated on what you are up to. If you gain enough “followers”, you can easily keep people updated on what products are new to your business with a small article.
Positive feedback and word of mouth goes a long way when trying to sell yourself online, at the click of a button, people can share their views with the world. If a bad review is posted in relation to your product or business, it can mean the difference in losing hundreds of potential customers.
Selling your items over the internet is a way in which you can run a business from home without ever needing to set up a physical space to trade. People are able to pay for everything online via shopping and auction sites. Over the last few years, online security has increased so people can feel safer about paying for their goods. So if you are hoping to trade online, make sure you get an online account set up for your that enables you to make and receive payments.
A Few Words About Computer Etiquette
If you are completely new to the world of computers it is worth investing in an anti-virus program. Going online opens you up to a plethora of computer viruses, which can do lasting damage to your computer software. Be aware that when opening up emails from untrustworthy sources can potentially cause a virus to be transferred to your computer, but a good anti-virus package will detect if there is suspicious activity for you.
Going from the real world to the online world can be a difficult one. There is a lot of help in getting businesses online these days. If you bear a few of these things in mind, you can be on your way to being an online entrepreneur. Good luck, and enjoy a new world of possibilities.