After months of planning, fine-tuning, and organizing you are finally ready to launch your business online. And if you build it, they will come, right?
There is a lot of work that goes behind the scenes of any online business. But it’s important to get it right from the start. Building your presence on the Internet requires diligence, preparation, and patience. And the following key items:
- Lock in your social media handles and domain name as quickly as possible. Say you are branding a burger business by the name of “Ben’s Burgers.” You’ll want to make sure that this domain name has not yet been taken (go to www.bensburgers.com to check). Purchase your domain name from a web hosting company (we like GoDaddy), and make sure that the price you pay includes add-ons like branded emails. If at all possible, try to get a .com as opposed to a .net or .org. Sign up for free accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., with the same name to make your brand uniform (examples: http://facebook.com/bensburgers and @bensburgers).
- Think about your immediate and long-term goals. This is very important for any up-and-coming business. Before you start to advertise your services, there has to be a need. This goes back to fundamental supply-and-demand (a great example of this was the pen scene in The Wolf of Wall Street).
- Work with an artist on your brand image. How do you want your company to be perceived by the public—as fun, professional, edgy? You’ll want to lock in a recognizable logo/company brand before you start advertising your services so people can instantly recognize you online.
- Build your website. Before you start to leak the details of your venture, you’ll want to build a website that advertises your services. Important things to include: links to your social media pages, contact information, FAQ section, a clearly written mission statement, and ordering information if applicable (set up a link through PayPal if possible for ease of use).
- 5. Outline your marketing strategy and get to work on advertising. This step is extremely crucial to the overall success of your brand. Whether or not you decide to work with an advertising company, you’ll want to make sure you have a smart strategy in place. List your website on online directories and review sites and connect with others via LinkedIn or through networking groups. Encourage bloggers to come by your store to sample your products in exchange for a review and get on Twitter/Facebook to promote your grand opening. There are so many ways to get creative with your marketing!