If you’re reading this, the chances are that you are planning to put your business online. (And if you’re still wondering if that’s a good idea, read why.) Is this the first time you have looked at getting a domain name or launching a website? There are a few key steps you need to take.
To make this easier, we’ve drawn up a To Do list for you.
Step 1. Set your goals. Why do you want your business to be online? Write down as many as you can think of. Being clear about your goals will make it easier to define how you go about getting your business online and how much you should be spending. Among them may be the following:
- finding new customers
- increasing repeat business
- converting more prospects to sales
- expanding to new areas
- telling people about new goods and services
- selling directly to consumers online
Step 2. Get your domain name. This is the first step you must take before you can have your own website and branded email addresses. In order, you need to:
Find a .nz name for your company. Ideally, this will be your business’ name or a keyword related to your business.
Think about also getting a .com or other country code (eg .uk) domain name:
- if your business is global, you should have a .com domain name;
- if your business is or will target other countries look at obtaining a domain name and create a web presence for each target market (eg .uk, and .au as well as .nz).
Step 3. Think about your brand. If you haven’t done this already, now is a great opportunity to think about your company’s brand. If it has been some time since you did this, use the opportunity to assess whether your brand is still in synch with your business strategy. Not sure what "Brand" is? Here is some information to get you started.
- Ask yourself what brand identity you want for the company;
- Be clear about who you are as a company and who you are serving. What is your value proposition? If you serve a local community, your needs and budget will be different to a business with a nationwide focus, for instance.
Step 4. Website
- Design - There are many options available. Popular options include templates provided by hosting organisations and bespoke, tailored systems. Again, be clear about your goals. Ask what you want to provide visitors to your site. Do your research and find the solution that meets your needs and budget.
- Content - Keep it fresh, focused and up to date.
- Hosting - There are numerous options. Many domain name providers and website design companies also provide hosting services. Also consider where your site will be hosted.
- Resources - Consider who will manage the website and how much time can be given to that role.
Step 5. Email Having email addresses that match your website adds consistency.
- For example the website www.johnsplumbing.co.nz could have the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
- It also appears more professional than having generic addresses that come with free accounts, such as Yahoo .
Not so daunting, right? So, why not get your business online today and start searching for the right domain name for you.