Getting a home business up and running takes time, money and effort, but the payoff is immense. For a start, you’ll be able to work from home doing something you want to do. You will be able to grow and expand your business as you see fit, and be in charge of your own income.
No matter what your business is, you’ll need a strong internet presence. These days, the web is where people go to find the businesses and services they need, so it’s up to you to make sure that you’ll be there when they search. To get you started, here are 6 must-haves your new home business needs to make an impact online:
1. Your own web domain and platform
A unique web domain is a must. Not only because it gives you a home on the web where customers can find you, but because sending out email from a proper web domain (as opposed to a Gmail address for example) ensures that you will look professional. Pick a relevant domain name that is easy for your customers to remember, and buy it up for several years.
You’ll also want to think about the kind of platform you use. For example, if you want to sell items on your website, look into e-commerce solutions. If however your website will be content-based (focussed on information) a content management system such as WordPress is a good choice.
2. Web hosting
Web hosting is a big part of your business’ success. Think about it – if you went to a website and it was slow, buggy, or didn’t load right on your mobile device, would you want to do business with that company? Shop around and do some research, such as reading online reviews. A good reliable web host will keep your site available for your customers 24/7.
If you’re anticipating a lot of traffic, you might want to look into a more dedicated service such as a virtual private server (VPS). Many good quality web hosts offer VPS solutions, so you should be able to find cheap VPS hosting to suit your budget.
3. A basic grasp of SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is key to making sure your website gets found by search engines such as Google. For example, Google does not look kindly on keyword stuffing (repeating a keyword over and over) or low-quality links such as link farms. Natural language and relevant content will help you get noticed.
SEO is a huge topic, but don’t be daunted. The basics are easy to learn from trusted SEO blogs or from a book. Start digging in now and you’ll be doing your business a favour.
4. Social media profiles
Social media is a big deal for businesses of all kinds these days. Social media is where customers go to look for brands, to connect with brands they already love, and to discuss and review businesses and products. You’ll want to be part of that conversation, so take the time to build a social media presence.
You don’t need to work on all the social media platforms at once. Pick one or two that attract customers like yours, and focus on building a strong presence there.
5. Your own blog
A blog is a must-have for your business. Good quality blog content that is relevant to your business and helpful to your audience is one of the ways in which you can attract search engine traffic to your site.
As well as attracting search engines (and therefore customers), a blog helps you to establish yourself as an expert in your field, showing your customers that your business is their one-stop shop for knowledge and advice.
Analytics help you to understand how customers are interacting with your business, what is working and what isn’t. Some tools you can get started with include Google analytics, statistics from your website, and information from social media such as Facebook or Twitter.
Learning to make sense of analytics takes time, but by understanding who is visiting your site and social media profiles and how they are interacting with them, you can make more informed decisions about your business’ future.
The tools are at your fingertips to make sure your home business is a success. Get started today to ensure your message reaches all the right people.