With or without a website
It isn’t necessary or viable for all small business to have a professional website. However even if your budget is $o and you have some time up your sleeve then you can still benefit greatly from having a descent online presence. If you are going to invest in having a professional website then you should still take these steps…
1. Add your business to Google My Business
You’d be absolutely crazy not to do this, it’s free and will take you from zero to hero with minimal effort – if you’re only going to do one thing then do this www.google.com.au/mybusiness In fact it’s likely you are already automatically registered by Google’s sentient algorithm , in which case you’ll need to ‘claim’ your listing. Register an email address with Google – you’re going to need it wether you like it or not Add as much relevent info as possible to your listing Get reviews if at all possible – it makes a huge difference
2. Logo / Branding
If you can’t afford a descent website or haven’t got round to commissioning one yet then at least consult a branding specialist and get a professional logo designed.
Having a professional logo make’s a huge difference to you’re business. Few people will take you seriously if you’ve got a scribbled logo on a paper napkin. The cost savings in the longterm could turn out to be huge, especially if you don’t have to repaint your logo across your global operations. This topic is worthy of a blog post in itself, more on that another time. Meanwhile I recommend Punchbowl design in Ballina.
3. Directory Listings
Getting listed in local directories makes a big difference, in fact the more relevant, local and authoritative the better. So make sure that at least you are in your local chamber of commerce directory and any industry association directories.
4. Domain name and hosted email
Listing your free email address and using it for business is not a good idea. Even worse is to use the free email provided to you by your internet service provider (ISP)- for amongst other reasons it means you’ll be locked into that ISP if you still want your email. So register a domain name, preferably with the same company that will host your website. Be careful! choose a good web host (not a cheap one) or you’ll regret it.
For email hosting I recommend Rackspace or Google Apps for Business Once you have a domain name if you still don’t have a website you can at least forward the domain name to your company Facebook page or something similar.
5. Social Networking
There are billions pages across the interwebs about social networking for business but here’s the lowdown a few words…
Basically it all comes down to time. If you’re not going to have the time and / or are not going to pay someone else to do it for you then don’t bother. If you are still reading this then the choice of which social networking you use depends on your type of business.
Super easy to get going with this as you know, and it can be a boost to your business if you put time and possibly money into it too.
This can be a really great way to promote your business, stay on top of industry news, become known as an expert in the field, build up your connections and make a difference by Tweeting tips, advice and links to interesting industry related news. Know your ideal followers and – “stay on target”!
This is like your curriculum vitae these days and is well worth having, you can add a company profile, join associated industry groups and generally get in amongst it.
Pinterest / Instagram – these are worthwhile using for certain people / industries, such as photography, creative work and trend industries.