Whether it’s fear, worry or inexperience keeping you from taking your business online, now is the time to shake it off. Failure to take that step could be what’s holding you back from being more accessible to your customers, having a portfolio that goes worldwide or getting the sales boost which takes you from sole trader to small start-up. That’s something you don’t want to miss out on, and we definitely don’t want you to either!
Getting your own website is far simpler than many people realise, and depending on what you want from your internet experience, there are loads of options for you to try which can really make a difference to your company.
Reasons to say ‘yes!’ to going online
1. It’s where all your customers are. Lunch breaks, commutes, whatever; the majority of people are online at some point during the day.
2. Save the trees! Going online can help you save money and trees by featuring your artwork, products or services in a place they can be reached whenever, examined at length, and saved for later.
3. You can be accessible 24/7. Love it or hate it, the internet has millions of people browsing it every minute of every day. These people are your customers- do you want them to be able to access your stuff at 3am, on the bus home or standing in the checkout queue at their local grocery shop? Yes you do.
4. Authenticity. There is a certain authenticity which comes from a company having its own professional website. People are more likely to choose your company if they feel confident in your brand.
How to get started
There are a number of ways you can get yourself online; if you’ve got absolutely no know-how and very little budget, you can use websites like Go Daddy or 1&1. Both sites will help you, step by step, to get your business online. They go out of their way to make it easy, and for a set fee and loads of different packages, you get the whole shebang.
If you’ve got the money but still don’t have the technical knowledge needed, you can hire a web development company who will listen to your ideas, create what you’re looking for and get it online for you. You can even get them to keep it looking shipshape and have them on hand for technical advice when you need it. You’ll be able to find web development companies local to you on comparison sites, or just be checking out some companies via search engine. There are hundreds out there, so make sure you find the one which suits your needs best.
If you have the technical knowledge but are a little short on money, you can do it all yourself. Step by step guides are readily available online, such as Website Setup Guide, to help keep you on track. 1-2-3 Reg and iPage are really useful sites to help you secure your website address (or domain name, as the I.T folk call it) and will host your site for you. After this you can design the site and get it online. This D.I.Y process will be time consuming, but is a great project and is really handy to know.
Is your business online? Which approach did you choose? Share your online experiences with others in the comments box below and give them some tips on how they can get started.