One of the positives to come out of the coronavirus outbreak is that business owners are finding creative ways to better serve their customers post-pandemic.
On top of this, many would-be entrepreneurs who have been furloughed from their day jobs have finally got the time and space to start chasing their own professional ambitions.
If you’re one of these talented individuals who’s sitting on a great idea for a business, and who needs to launch your venture quickly to catch the economy in its current state, you need to take action now.
Follow the seven steps below and you’ll be up and running in no time!
Step One: Choose a business name
I know, I know – this is easier said than done. But the key to coming up with a name for your business is to keep things simple.
As well as finding a moniker that represents the essence of your business, you also need to consider whether the name is easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and truly unique. Be sure to check other existing businesses with Companies House to make sure your idea hasn’t already been taken.
Need help? Check out these 5 tips to choosing a great business name from The Balance Small Business.
Step Two: Get help with your branding
If you’re going to establish a name for yourself in your chosen industry, you need to come up with a brilliant brand identity. This typically involves developing a logo and coming up with other design elements that can be used consistently throughout your marketing materials, such as brand colours, fonts and image styles.
Great branding doesn’t need to be complex – but it does need to be well-considered. I would always suggest speaking with a brand identity design specialist like myself before embarking on this crucial step in your startup journey.
Step Three: Choose a domain name
Again, simple is best. Your company name or core product or service offering will suffice, as long as nobody else has nabbed it first. You can check domain availability using tools like GoDaddy and NameCheap.com (or ask me to do this for you).
Step Four: Design and build your website
Many start-ups choose to put together a simple brochure-style website ready for their launch. It’s a great way to make sure your business still appears credible without spending a large percentage of your launch budget on your digital shop window.
A WordPress website might be a good option; you can learn more about my WordPress website design services here. If you would prefer to build your site yourself, make sure the design is clean and easy to navigate, and everything functions in the way it should before you hit the ‘go’ button.
Step Five: Find a suitable hosting package
A lot of new business owners forget that they’ll need to find a hosting provider for their website! When choosing a hosting company, focus on the three S’s: speed, support and security. You’ll also need to think about how much you can feasibly budget for your hosting package on a monthly or yearly basis.
Again, if you need help finding the right provider, I can point you in the direction of several great companies I’ve used in the past.
Step Six: Get familiar with web maintenance tasks
If you’ve chosen to go with a WordPress site, you’ll need to set aside some time every month to make sure your website is performing at its best. This typically involves updating themes and plugins, and creating backups in case data is lost.
Failing to look after your website on an ongoing basis could mean that it will become slow, clunky and eventually stop delivering a good experience to your users – plus, over time, it will become more susceptible to hacks. If you’re not comfortable tackling the maintenance of your WordPress website yourself, I can handle all the essential tasks for you with my WordPress support service.
Step Seven: Explore cost-effective ways of marketing your business online
From optimising your content for search through to running dedicated paid search campaigns with platforms like Google Ads, Facebook and LinkedIn, there are so many different ways to promote your business online. The digital marketing route you take will depend on many things, including where your target customers are likely to be most active, and, of course, how much money you have to spend. You can learn more about the benefits of some of these approaches here.