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Being a small business means it is in your best interest to make the most out of the digital world, having an online presence is now a necessity not a luxury, this beginner's guide will help you and your business navigate the we of opportunities out there and help you to establish an all-importnat online presence for your business.
The first step is to get to grips with whater, we recommend that you start educating yourself about small business technology, social media and basic digital marketing methods, we recommend that you read the following blogs as a starting point:
So now that you have some excellent resources to go to for guidance and insight we can start looking at building your online presence, so you have abbusinee plan, acompany name now we need to get you started with site and start attracting potential new customers.
Get your business domain name
Your domain name is the name of your website, youneed to think very carefully before you purchase it, you need to make sure it sounds right and is suited to your business, it is also important to look at the variations, you may be a British business and are going to buy your domain name as .co.uk but make sure you know what is on .com and other variations etc.. You should really look for a domain that you can get as a .com and .co.uk.
You can purchase your domain name from a variety of sources and the cost is generally very small, although there are some domain names that can command a handsome sum, but you are unlikely to be faced with this problem. We recommend you try the following sites for purchasing a domain name.
Set up your business email address and website
It's all very well having a gmail or Yahoo mail account, but it really does not look very professional,l so we need to ensure that you have your mail account set up and running on the same domain name you just purchased.
We would recommend using a hosted email provider, like GoogleApps for Business, 1&1 hosted email or GoDaddy's hosted email services. Setting up your email in this way will enable you to sync your devices (mobile, tablet and desktop computer) with emails, files, calendars and your business contacts no matter where you are.
We would most certainly recommend using Rocketspark or Wordpress and here at Digitally Limited we can help you customise your Wordpress site to ensure it stands out from your competitors.
Utilise social media
Once you have got your website up and running youn need to tell people that you are here and this is where you can find me, and that is where social media comes in, now we don't recommend to just sign up to every social media platform there is as that would be a complete waste of time, you need to find out where your potential customers are most likely to be, there are two main ways in which you could do this they are:
1. Ask your existing customers
This can be done with a poll/questionnaire or just by conversations with them. This type of research is essential if you are a bricks and mortar business that is lookingto traverse to the digital space. This will give a really good grounding for your business to start being online and give you something to base how you develop your business further online.
2. Conduct research on social media sites
Identify your competitors and see where they are posting and what they are posting, try using some free tools or trials for tracking and researching hastags, Facebook and Instagram, try using some of these services as a starting point:
Once you have done some research you should have a good idea of what and where to post to engage potential customers.
Utilise small business technology
Keeping track of your customers, their sales and where they are in your sales cycle is important, there are a whole host of tools available, we recommend using a tool like Hubspot CRM and Leadin as these two Hubspot offerings are free to use and is a great way to get started. The CRM component allows you to maintain a database of all your contacts and where in the sales cycle they are, Leadin allows you to gather new contact data from any form you may have on your website/blog and has a lead generation form you can use on your website quickly and easily.
If you follow these simple steps you will have created the best starting point for creating your own digital presence for your company, now with a little more education you will be able to take this and run with it and start growing your business online, remeber it is all about making digital your ally.
Here at Digitally Limited we want to ensure that you make digital your ally so we are offering a no obligation consultation to help you get started with creating your businesses digital presence you can learn more about our no obligation consultation here.