The internet is a great equalizer. It has leveled the business playing field. It is hard to believe than in 2020, with the web over 25 years old, there are still some businesses that are not online, and barely seem to make any effort. It is very easy to start a screened porches business, or a product-based business and set it online, and realize exponential growth in terms of customer acquisition and revenue, as compared to operating the business on a brick and mortar model. People are searching for local and small businesses, just like yours, online. If they can’t find you easily, you are missing out.
Times like now, it may be a little bit difficult to operate a business on a brick and mortar model, and the only guaranteed way to continue selling is to operate online. Here are the steps you can take to take your business online today.
Get Your Domain Name
You can get online in different ways. First, you need to have a unique domain name that is short and memorable. You can get a great domain name from vendors such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, Google Domains among others. I use Namecheap, as I find it cost-effective and has seamless customer service.
Get a hosting provider and build a website
Once you have a domain name – which is a unique online identifier for your business, the next step is to purchase a hosting plan. You will use your host to have all your website resources available online for search engines and customers to find. There are many good hosting providers such as BlueHost, SiteGround, TMD Hosting among others. Once you have a hosting plan, the next step is to build your business website.
With this step, there are a couple of decisions to make. What type of website do you want? It is an eCommerce site; if yes, go for Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, or Big Commerce. It is a website that lists the services you offer? If yes, go for WordPress. You don’t have to know any web development to have your site setup. Go to market places such as Fiverr and Upwork, and get an expert to set your site up.
Promote your website
Once you have set up your website, the next key step is to make it discoverable on search engines. This is done by ding a comprehensive Search Engine Optimization where you submit your site on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and other search engines for indexing. List your business on Google, Yelp, and other places for your customers to discover you. Through promoting your website, you will be selling your products and services to your potential customers and followers.
Once your business is listed, the next step is to get social. Set up social media pages for your site so that you can engage with your customers in real-time. Solve customer pain points, comment, and answer their concerns and grow your following. Ensure you keep your reputation high through five-star reviews and ethical business practices.