Of all the small businesses out there that have established an internet presence and started to do business on the Internet, there’s probably more that haven’t. It is perceived by many that the expense and effort of running a website is far too high for many small companies especially sole traders and the self employed. Think Again!
Getting started on the web the easy way
If you don’t want to plunge into developing an elaborate website, you should consider a more staged approach.
Start with an initial online presence by purchasing a professional website domain name (the www bit) and use this to create a professional email address. You do this by purchasing the domain name from a design company and setting up associated email addresses.
Domain names have two uses:
1) You use it to point to your website: www.mycompany.co.uk
2) You can associate email addresses with them: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you buy a domain name, you don’t need an elaborate website initially. Just start with a simple page that provides an overview of your company and gives you visitors your contact details.
Check to see if the name you want is available using our free online domain name checker.
As You Grow
As your business grows consider adding more pages to help your visitors, customers and your business grow.
Start by collecting email addresses from your customers and prospects. Have your sales assistant ask each customer for their email address every time they pay. You may not use these email addresses immediately, but at some point in the future you should communicate with these individuals via email.
Periodically alert your customers to new products, services, discounts and special events. You might even try some special email promotions whereby customers receive discounts on certain items by bringing in a copy of the email.
The key here is to start small and grow your website with your business. Taking small steps will allow you to do this. If you leave everything until you’re established and want a full eCommerce website when your business is in full production, you’ll have a lot more work to do and usually a lot less time to do it in.