Monday, August 8, 2016

5 Things to do Online When Opening Your Own Business/Company

We opened business in the steam of the recession of 2008, and since day one the question that we get asked the most is, “what are the most important, most vital online tools to get startups a jump start on their field?” While the most important thing to do before opening business is to invest time and effort (and sometimes money) on a well-developed Business Plan, once you have all that sorted out, and you legally opened your business, to most important things to do online when opening a business are:

Get a URL

I would actually suggest to look up URL names before you even decide on the name of the business, and this should be tightly aligned with your business plan. Choose the name of your business and make sure the URL is available, or at least some sort of it. Even if your website ends up being somewhat different than your business name, I think it is always good practice to purchase your company name so that nobody else can do it for you and then one day he/she will get rich on your behalf. One last piece of advice, unless you are opening a nonprofit or a university/college/school, make sure the URL is a .com. There are a plethora of reasons why, and I will get to that on a later post, when we get deeper into online marketing. But for now, trust me. It looks better for your company and search engines still LOVE .com's more than .net or any other. I use two websites to purchase URL’s: GoDaddy.com and Google Domains.

Get an email

The next thing to do is get an email with you own URL (yes, you need step 1 to even think of step 2). No "@gmail.com" accounts, or "@outlook.com" or "@hotmail.com". If you are serious about your business, your product and/or your service get a URL and then get at least one email account. The first account could be a generic "info@yourbusiness.com" or "contact@yourbusiness.com" if you are still unsure about putting your name there. But most important thing on this step, make sure your email has your URL. Most Internet domain registrar and web hosting companies already include emails or email forwarding when you purchase your URL.

Get a website

Hire someone to build a website of build a website yourself. When I first opened MundoWide, we based our business in opening websites on WordPress. There are a lot of platforms now in which you can open and manage your own website, some of the ones I have worked with directly are: WordPress, Blogger, Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, Weebly among many others. Take a look at their templates and their forte, choose one and move on! Or contact us and we will help you build one.

Open social media accounts

Social media is not for every business. However, it is suitable for most. One piece of advice, if I may... make sure you follow through. We... I, make the mistake here and then and do not follow up. If you get a message - reply quickly. If you are going to use social media, make sure you are that: Social. Social media is a platform to engage with customers and prospects in a sense of conversation. Beware, a lot of times (indeed, most of the times) conversations might be negative. The platforms for social media have morphed continuously since they started about over a decade ago, nowadays we have Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and Periscope among others. Of course I do not have to mention Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or even LinkedIn.

Get a CRM

You may say that CRMs are not online marketing... well, most CRMs now are cloud based, and to me they are considered part of online business tools, so yes, this one is part of my recommendation. CRMs are mainly for B2B (Business to Business) Companies. This is a must for you and a maybe for B2C companies. I have tried many - way too many - and each one has its charm. It also depends on whether you may use broader business services such as Office 365 or Google Apps for your business, there are several options available for you. Try a few, seize your needs and then choose one. Or if you did not like any, keep searching, testing and searching... and testing. Most CRMs have free versions, so do not be afraid.