Registering a domain name is one of the first steps to starting a new business. That’s because whatever name you choose will represent your business’s space on the internet – and, possibly, a customer’s first impression of your company.
But once you have that domain name, what do you do? Don’t stress over building your online space. You can start using your domain name right away. Here are three ways to do it.
If you send emails to your customers, it’s not only about what you say in your emails, but what your email address says about you. If you use a generic email like Gmail or Yahoo for your business, it might be time to consider something more professional and specific to your business. For example, what dental practice would you choose to contact, one that uses an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com? It’s probably safe to assume you’d pick the first one. Yet, in 2015, almost half of U.S. small businesses still did not have a company-branded email.1
Here are a few myths about a customized email address that may be holding you back from growing your online brand:
Some things stand the test of time, like .net, one of the original domains on the internet. In fact, the first domain name ever created was Nordu.net. Now, with approximately 15 million registrations, .net is one of the most popular domains today, and has earned the trust of people and businesses worldwide.
The 2015 holiday shopping season was a good one for businesses online. Thanks to strong sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, online retailers reported an increase in sales of 15 percent from the previous year with Cyber Monday proving to be the largest online sales day ever, netting $3.07 billion.
However, only 51 percent of small businesses have websites, despite the fact that 97 percent of consumers search for products and services online, according to figures released earlier from The SCORE Association (SCORE).
The disconnect between small companies and the growing number of consumers who vet brick-and-mortar businesses based on their online presence could be keeping entrepreneurs from millions of customers – and dollars. SCORE Vice President of Marketing Bridget Weston Pollack said, “If a company or a small business doesn’t have an online presence, they are missing a huge percentage of the population that could be shopping at their store.”
Almost three-quarters of Americans go online at least once a day. If you are a small business looking to grow, you need to go where your customers are. That means getting your business online with a domain name – whether it’s with branded email, a web address for your social media page, or a business website.
In September 2015, Verisign conducted a survey of 787 U.S. internet consumers aged 18 to 59 and 456 U.S. small businesses to learn more about their online behaviors and preferences – focusing on how consumers use the internet and the benefits of an online presence for a business.
The National Small Business Association (NBSA) recently released a report revealing that half of all small businesses have been the victim of a cyber-attack – and the cost of dealing with these attacks has skyrocketed to $20,752 per attack. In about a third of attacks, the victim’s website was taken down, often for days. The impact of such outages cannot be measured by the immediate lost revenue alone, as the long term impact of the harm to your reputation and customer loss cannot be easily calculated.
Guest Post from Richard Stevenson, 1&1 Internet
For many small businesses and start-ups, the first steps to creating an online presence can be a daunting prospect. With so much information out there, knowing exactly what is best for your business can be a challenge. Richard Stevenson of 1&1 Internet, Europe’s largest domain name registrar, outlines the first steps for business owners interested in getting online.
From choosing a hosting provider to creating a website, we know that creating a digital shop front can seem like it demands many steps with important decisions every step of the way, and that this can at first appear overwhelming.
In truth it’s a great deal easier than many assume, but in order to make the process easier, why not focus on just the first step? Once you have that first incredible idea for a company or product, what follows is picking a name that will help you stand out. The digital world is no different, so begin by imagining what your website name would be.
Guest Post from Emma Jones, founder of UK-based Enterprise Nation
Traditional independent businesses that don’t regard themselves as having relevance in the digital world are finding growth by getting online.
In the UK, an astonishing 50% of small firms are still not online. Enterprise Nation’s Go and Grow Online campaign, supported by Verisign, Microsoft and BT Business, has launched a 12-month programme of nationwide events to help the smallest firms get the skills and confidence to get their digital ducks in a row. Of course, small businesses can survive without a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account – but how much could they grow if they took the plunge into cyberspace?
We’ve taken a look at three very British trades made famous by an ancient nursery rhyme – “Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub” – that are increasing their trade and geographical reach simply via getting online, in addition to the traditional presence at a market stall or retail shop. And who do you think they are? A butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker…
Guest Post from Emma Jones, founder of UK-based Enterprise Nation
With almost 50% of small businesses said to be without a website and, of those that are online, only a few taking the opportunity to trade, Emma Jones of London-based small business network, Enterprise Nation, outlines the need for a campaign to help British businesses make the most of the web.
When I founded Enterprise Nation in 2005 it was to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses. Now, by offering expert advice, events, networking and inspiring books, we have more than 60,000 members in the UK who are all looking to create thriving small businesses.
When Enterprise Nation first started, Facebook was still in its infancy and Twitter hadn’t even been founded, which shows just how quickly the online world has changed! With over 2 billion people now online across the globe, the digital world represents a big opportunity for small businesses. Having a website to showcase your products and services is like having a shop window that the world can see into, at any time of the day (or night!). It’s never been so easy to launch online with template website providers, blogging platforms and social media. So why is it that so many businesses are yet to embrace the web and reap the rewards?
Verisign is proud to announce that we are a sponsor of Enterprise Nation’s Go and Grow Online initiative that aims to encourage more businesses in the UK to get online and support existing online businesses to grow their online presence.