Get Your Small Business Online
For any small business, an online presence is as important today as having a phone line and fax machine once were. But many small businesses still don’t have an online presence. In a study done last year by business-to-business research firm Clutch, 46 percent of small businesses indicated they don’t have a website.
An Online Presence is Vital to Success
If you have social media accounts, it’s still important to have a website. According to an online survey by Versign, 91 percent of consumers use the internet to research local goods and services. You need to make it easy for these potential new customers to find you, and while social media platforms are a great marketing tool for your small business, not everyone uses them. A website, even if it only has the basics when it comes to who you are and what you do, is essential to steering customers your way.
Three Steps to Getting Started
Register a Domain Name
This is where a place to brand your business’ online identity and is used for your website address and business branded e-mail domain.
Set Up a Business-Branded Email
While there are a lot of free options out there, using a company branded e-mail instead of a Gmail or Hotmail address calls more attention to your business and helps maintain your business identity across all platforms.
Create Your Website
Again, even if it’s just a simple page that provides basic information about your company, it’s the best way for customers searching for business like yours to find you! With how often search engines like Google are used, a website allows your information to appear easily for potential customers. A website provides the most control, credibility and flexibility in marketing your business online.
SCORE — a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration — has partnered with Verisign to create a guide for small businesses looking to get online.
Learn more about growing your business at sba.gov.
Learn about other “How to Start a Business” resources, as well as Marketing & Sales information in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the Small Business Resources newsletter and stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in Greater Des Moines (DSM).
Dave Lentell is the lead lender relations specialist with the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Iowa District Office. He helps coordinate SBA's small business loan programs in the state of Iowa and promotes SBA's programs to the small business community. He has been with SBA since 1993.