From the legal requirements of registering your business name, knowing what you should and can be doing about your taxation position or legal ownership options, to working through what products and services you will be providing and what you will put on your business card. Looking at that mountain of decisions like a challenge rather than a series of obstacles can make starting a new business is a bit like starting an exciting adventure.
What about a website?
Getting a website up and running may be the last thing on your mind after liaising with suppliers, trialling products, getting your methods and systems functioning, working out how much to charge for your services. But a website is a great way of promoting your business and building your credibility in an already noisy market place.
If you’ve been relying on social media or a free Google presence to get the word out you may have realised that you are not being found by your target market as much as you would like. Because you don’t own Facebook or Google (unless Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page is reading my blog!!) then you can’t control exactly who sees which posts and information. Setting up a website means anyone can find you, whether they are on Facebook or not (I know – there are still some people who aren’t on Facebook – I don’t know how they do it, but there you go).
Owning your own website means you can have professional emails too, so instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, which inevitably goes to spam folders because of the gmail.com part, you can have email@example.com which looks so much more business-like (unless your name is not Jane in which case it seems weird – but you get my point).
It also means you can start collecting other people’s email addresses and contacting them directly, making sure they see the information you put out there, without being reliant on the whims or algorithms of Facebook – you still need someone who understand how to rank well in Google.
Your own website gives you a platform to build credibility in your niche by regularly adding great value content to your site. Not only does that give your visitors a sense of who you are, what you know and the services or products you can provide but it also provide a way of raising the profile of your expertise.
Your own website also means that you completely control the branding for your business: the look and feel, the words that describe what you do – everything. And you control how visitors see that information so you can guide them from being interested onlookers to people who want to engage with your business, whether that is by purchasing something from your online store or by hitting the Contact Us page and picking up the phone or sending the enquiry form.
And ultimately your business needs people who buy your products or services; otherwise you are running an expensive hobby or charity.
Where do I start?
Once you start thinking about getting your website up and running you will be amazed at how critical you can become about other people’s websites – go surfing, see what you like what you don’t like, take notice of what works well for you and how you move through someone else’s website.
What is it about the Home page that inspires you, or not? What piques your curiosity and has you scrolling down the page, or moving to another page? Do you like the colours, the fonts, the layout?
Do you like the way the words are written, the expressions and terms they have used? Is it easy to understand what service or product they are selling? Can you see what the benefit to you might be if you were to purchase their service or product?
Some of these are more subtle to see, so take the time to notice what is going on when you visit a website.
Getting started in business is full of new things to learn and new skills to master. Be careful to avoid the 5 most common mistakes that start-ups make.
If getting techie and building your own website is not your cup of tea, then here’s my guide to finding a great web designer you can work with.
And if you’re ready to ask those 7 questions, you can book a free no-obligation 60-minute Clarity Session to find some of the answers you have been looking for. You will definitely need 60 minutes – I have my own questions too and I can ‘t wait to hear about your new adventure!
Here’s to exciting new ventures, entrepreneurship, new businesses and learning new things – it really does make life the adventure it should be and the view from the top is always amazing!
Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know. In return for your super proof reading, I will offer you a free 30-minute review of your digital presence and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.
Get in Touch
If you’d like to discuss web design, you can book a free clarity session where I will walk you through a review of your current site and provide a review of its usability, design and functionality.