Are you looking to get your business online, and don’t know where to start?
This list may help:
#1. Register a Domain Name (aka URL or Web Address)
I use Dotster, but there are a lot of options out there.
#2. Sign up for hosting (aka the server that will host your website)
- MediaTemple – This is the hosting I use now, for myself and many clients.
- Dreamhost – I used Dreamhost for years, and still recommend it.
Once you have hosting, you (or your hired Designer/Developer – yes, I am for hire) can decide how you’re going to maintain your website. This depends a lot on the size of your business, the technical capability of you and your staff, and your shopping cart needs.
For small businesses just getting started, I recommend:
- Great for brochure sites
- Easy CMS (Content Management System), that makes editing your pages as easy as editing a word document.
- Start a blog/news
- Link your social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc)
- Set up tracking (Google Analytics, Feedburner)
- Very robust, grows with your business.
#2b. Have products? Set up a shop on your website:
Start right away by setting up a web store on one of the following platforms. Marketplaces like Storenvy, Etsy and Cargoh are a great way to get your product out to new people. Depending on your size, you may need a more enterprise solution, most of which are a considerable monthly fee & advanced set up.
If you have a product-based business, you’ll also want to use Stitch. Use promo code ‘willotoons’ for a 45 day free trial!
My blog and a number of other pages on my site use WordPress, hosted on MediaTemple.
#3. Get a Logo
I recommend my friend Dan Schmidt of Go Creative. His portfolio may not be up on his website, but this man is talented, affordable and LOVES doing identity and logo work. Contact me or him to see samples of his work.
#4. Print business cards, Postcards or Brochures
Note: with these links you’ll save 15% or more!
#5. Find a mentor or hire a coach
You can also check out:
- Renaissance Center
- Cultivate your own supportive Network
- Have your own roundtable
- Ask your community for feedback (Forums, Twitter or Facebook)
#6. Start a mailing list
- Google Groups or Yahoo Groups
- Use a service: Constant Contact, Vertical Response, Mail Chimp, Emma
#7. Get your business listed on other sites:
- Facebook Fan page
- Linked In
#8. Create a press packet, both for online & off
Note, the above resources are just to get you started. I am sure each of you reading this have a very specific set of questions for your particular business. I know, because over the last 10 years I have helped individuals, small and large companies alike with all of the above! If you’re interested in speaking to me about how I can help your business, check out the Work with Me page, and drop me a line.