If you're in the process of getting your own website up to market a product or service, there are a few basics worth exploring in this initial phase. We're going to explore the ins and outs of launching a site for your business, what's involved and how to go forward. There are many options for the young entrepreneur, so it matters to be diligent in your research.
Setup and Design
Your business plan is solid, you have a few vendors interested in working with you and it's time to set up your new online home. First you'll need to decide if you're OK with a site produced from a third-party vendor of free site templates, or if you want to use a custom-designed site made for you by your talented Web designer friend.
On the free front, there are several solid website options on the market, including Weebly, Wix and Yola. They each have advantages for the solo entrepreneur and can be a useful starting point. Cost is likely one of them. If you have the budget to have a site customized for you, then by all means look into that; just remember that tailored doesn't always mean better.
Next up is figuring out the backbone of your online operation: website hosting. If you have to ask what is website hosting, then watch this video (below). It compares the different types of Web hosting options to the different types of living arrangements (house, apartment, condo, etc.) we have, and it describes differences in shared hosting and dedicated hosting. These can impact your site's loading times, access to data and on-time performance.
Solid and reliable Web hosting can make a big difference in the impression your site gives off in the early months of your business' launch. Don't be caught short. Make sure your site's backbone can handle the expected amount of visitors for your business. Entrepreneur.com offers additional insights for website first-timers looking for good hosting advice.
Forrester Research estimates that online shopping/ecommerce is going to rise to nearly $279 billion by 2015. If you want to be part of that business, you need to know how to sell through your website. There are selling templates from third party vendors who you can seek out, from the likes of Goodsie, Shopify and Volusion. These sites will help you integrate the selling tool you need quickly and efficiently.
Here's where your business will shine. Finding the right audience for your products, tailoring specialized communications to these people, with a combination of videos, social marketing messages, mailers and fliers can help start to raise your business profile. Talk to your friends and tell them what you 're doing. Ask for business referrals. Check out local chamber of commerce events to draw some new leads.