By Ian Canaway
In this short article I’m going to reveal a quick method for getting a simple, yet powerful website online for your small business. If you don’t already have a website for your small business you’ve missed a trick. You see they can be one of the most effective marketing weapons at your disposal — if used correctly.
Before you set up your website there are number of steps or stages, that you must go through before you start developing your site. These are basic things such as market research, choosing a domain, name, selecting a website hosting provider, deciding on your business model, and planning a marketing strategy.
If you already run a small business you should already know your market. But conducting online research to further analyse behaviour and spending patterns will further help you develop a website which is optimised for your target market.
The next key stage is looking at how your website is going to fit into your overall business model, too many small businesses stick up websites without really thinking how it’s going to fit into the overall equation.
How can you combine your website into your marketing mix? How are you going to get people to your website? Do you know best practices for online marketing results?
My favourite analogy for business owners who don’t quite get online marketing is this:
“Building a website is like building a shop out in The Sahara Desert. Nobody is going to know it’s there (apart from you) unless you build roads to it, get the word out — actively promote the thing. It’s not like having a shop on the high street, people won’t just appear and walk in.”
So you need to have a marketing strategy in mind before you get started.
Next up – choose a domain name, what are you going to call your website? Ian’s Plumbing Supplies.com? You should brainstorm some ideas and then see what’s available. Hosting; you need to have a hosting provider to host your website, I use a few different providers which I’m happy with.
Powerful Options For Building Your Business Website
One of the most powerful options you have for building your small business website is a free piece of software called WordPress. If you use a hosting provider with cPanel and/or Fantastico you can install it with one click.
It’s a great bit of kit and is highly functional and versatile, and you can modify it easily to build yourself a unique website. I use it for many of my websites, and also for my clients, as it’s so simple to use, it allows them to add their own content after installation and customisation.
If you want to try your hand with some coding you can use free websites editors such as Kompozer, Frontpage, and NVU. Each have there own benefits and drawbacks, but allow you to get something online quickly. If you have limited web design skills you can download free templates from oswd.org which you can then modify for you own purposes.
Whenever you are doing anything online, always question what you are doing. Is it best practice, can you save money to improve cash flow, what’s the purpose of the website, is it designed to generate more leads, prospects and sales?
About the Author: By Ian Canaway
FREE Guide, ‘How To Set-Up A Simple Yet Powerful Website For Your Business Step-By-Step’. The guide can be downloaded instantly, free of charge to anyone who wants one, just visit:
How To Set-Up A Simple Yet Powerful Website For Your Business