How To Take Your Business Online In 5 Steps
During times of distress when customers might be unable to move out and visit their favorite grocery stores, having an online presence for your business, in many ways, prove to be a smart move and an important one at that.
In a previous article (4 Reasons Why Your Business needs an Online Presence), I highlighted why you need to take your business online. In this article, I will walk you through the steps you need to take to move your business online. Without further ado, here’s what you need to do:
Choose an online target channel.
While some businesses perform well with a functional website, others might not. It could be a complete waste of investment.
Are you considering creating an online extension of a local grocery store, go for an e-commerce store and not a blog. If you offer coaching lessons, you should open a well-designed website stating your service clearly, and not an e-commerce store. If you run a business that provides services such as catering and other related, you should settle for a well-set-up social media page across different social platforms and a website. The online extension of your business solely depends on the form of business you run offline. It shouldn’t be a tough decision to make.
Select a name or buy a domain name.
No doubt, your offline business already has a name. You surely will want to use the same name for your online business. You have to be sure your business name is not being used already by some other person. The internet is full of social media handles, blogs and websites that use several different names, so you have to be sure that yours isn’t in use already. If you are using only a social media page, you have no problem. Do you plan to use a website or e-commerce store? If you plan to, then you need a domain name. Ideally, domain names cost from $5 — $15 per annum.
You can purchase a domain name on Namecheap. Namecheap offers domain name and hosting services at a very affordable rate. They have a “beast mode” that helps you generate a domain name according to your business type.
Here is our advice on selecting a perfect domain name for your business:
- Use a .com extension to show the standard.
- Avoid using numbers, hyphens or other characters that may be difficult to remember by your customers.
- If your business offers services only around your geographical location, you could use a .ca, .uk or .us extension.
One of the most important things to consider is the hosting platform where you’ll host your site’s content. Different hosting platforms offer different prices for their service. I still recommend Namecheap for hosting services because they offer affordable prices for all their services. Choosing a hosting platform is like renting a space to run your business online. Once you’ve done this, the next step is to design your site.
Design your website/store.
Though sometimes neglected, one of the things that compel sales on a website is its design. When a website/online store has a professional look, site visitors won’t help but notice. It goes a long way toward compelling the site visitor to make a purchase.
The design of your website should convey your business service or product. Every person should have a distinctive feeling while going through your site.
Design is important, but words are more important. It can sometimes be hard for people to make purchase decisions, but with the right content in place concerning certain products and services, customers can see clear as they make their decisions. For example, if you own an e-commerce website, putting out information about various products could help your customers make purchase decisions. If you offer coaching services on your website, your content should show your knowledge in your field. It is also a good idea to add testimonials from people who have used your products/ service in times past.
More than just helping compel purchases, putting out the right content could help you build authority in your field as you show through your content that you know a lot about your business. For example, Neil Patel Digital offers SEO and marketing services to people across the internet. Through his blog posts and articles, he has established himself as a thought leader and mentor in his field. Having the right content on your various website pages propels growth.
Announce your move.
After your website/online store is up and running, it is important to announce your move to your existing customers. If you let your offline customers know of your business move, they will be your online customers. After you have launched your business online, it is, therefore, necessary to do all you can to notify all of your customers about your big move.
Technological advancements are beginning to lay waste in the ways of ancient times. Moving your business online is a great way to start adapting to the new normal.