David previously worked with Europe’s No.1 Marketing Agency & the World’s No.6 biggest Integrated Marketing Agency, seeing first-hand how £150 million+ campaigns are executed to create household brands. Now he is the CEO of YewBiz and is focused on helping small businesses.
Thinking About Starting A Business
When you are thinking about starting your own business, there are a few things you should think about. Your business name and website needs to be high up your lists of first things to think about.
Why? It is best to have a name and website domain that reflects what your company will do (i.e. what services or products you will provide).
Step 1: Register Your Business Name
It will benefit you in the long run to register your business with the appropriate governing body (for example, Companies House in the UK).
Make sure the name is not too similar to another registered company so that you do not get confused as them. By doing this you will also keep other people from using your business name.
- Speak to an accountant or business adviser on possible structures
- Do a little research on the tax benefits of being incorporated (INC) or being a limited liability corporation (LLC) or a Limited company or a limited liability partnership (LLP) versus the disadvantages to see if those options will give you an advantage
- Consider sourcing a second address for your business for privacy and to keep your personal and business mail separate. There are companies which will allow you to register an address at their buildings and provide mail forwarding services.
Consider renting a freephone telephone number such as 1-800 or 0800. This will give your company a national presence and not limit you to a local area. Companies offer these services on monthly, 3, 6, or 12 month contract allowing you to control the payments.
Step 2: Register Your Domain Name
Register your domain name with a reputable domain registrar. Try to register a domain that has your main topic or keyword in the domain name. Doing this will help with your site’s ranking in search engines and can make it easier for prospective customers to find you.
It is often wise to secure the .com version and any local country versions, such as .co.uk in the UK or .fr in France. This will stop other people registering and creating a website with a similar domain.
Here are a few domain name registrars:
Don’t forget about using a reliable web hosting company. Sometimes the cheapest is not the best option.
Be sure to check that the web hosting provider provides good customer service. You will want first class service whenever you have an issue and want things resolved quickly via online chat, email or phone.
Also be sure your web hosting provider has a history of reliable up-time for websites. Do some checks for previous customer reviews and look for those with positive feedback. You can’t afford to have a provider that can’t keep your site up and running at all times.
Step 3: Open a Business Bank Account
Open a separate business bank account to keep your personal and business expenses separate. You can open a business bank account anywhere, but having a local branch nearby can be helpful, especially if problems arise and they can only be resolved in person.
Also look for banks who provide special offers for new startup companies. They often offer free banking facilities for 12 -24 months. This can be a big saving when you are just starting out.
Consider banks that also offer merchant accounts to take credit and debit card payments. They may provide additional payment gateways such as WorldPay.
Banks will sometimes require more information about your business (including a business plan and forecasts) before they will grant you access to a merchant account.
However, virtually anyone can apply for and secure a PayPal or Stripe account (without providing the level of information a traditional bank requires), so you will be able to process payments more quickly.
Step 4: Register Social Media Accounts
Now that you have your business name and domain, you will want to register accounts with social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
These should be registered with the same names as your business. This keeps your brand identity consistent across the internet.
Step 5: Register Google Accounts
Following on from registering your social media accounts, you need to register several Google accounts to take advantage of Google services such as:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Tag Manager
- Google Ads (aka Adwords)
This ensures that these are ready to install on your website to track statistics and to help you promote your new website and attract customers.
Step 6: Create Your Brand Logo And Website
Your logo is an important item to get right as it will help potential customers understand what you do. Unless you are a designer, it is wise to get a professional to help you create your logo.
Next, decide which website creation software you plan to use to build and edit your web pages. Most web hosting providers also offer website creation software as part of their service. Some of these can be basic and as your company grows, you may need to upgrade to something more powerful.
If you can, start off with a well-known content management system (CMS). These will allow you to expand the number of pages and include extra features at a later date. Some mainstream CMS's are:
Building your website yourself will save on costs although it might take you extra time at the beginning. But in the future, if you learn how to effectively work with the CMS that you decide to use, it will save you time and money.
When adding pages and products to your website, be sure to include appealing images to give a the site a nice eye appeal. By doing this, visitors will be more likely to spend more time reading through the pages. Keeping people on your website is a good thing.
Your brand logo also needs to be uploaded to the social media accounts that you registered in step 4 to keep it consistent across the internet.
Step 7: Generating Traffic To Your Website
Visitors to your website is the lifeblood of your business, if you have no visitors, then you will have zero sales. Quality visitors (also known as "traffic") is especially vital to your success. Practically everyone visits a companies website before they decide to buy from them.
There are free and paid ways to generate traffic. You can use any combination of them to get quality traffic to your website. It is wise to use at least two different methods so that you are not reliant on one. If most of your traffic was generated by one source and anything happened to it, then your traffic and sales would be impacted.
Here are the most common methods:
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) aka organic traffic
- Viral marketing
- Content marketing
- Facebook advertising
- PPC advertising
- Solo advertising
- Email marketing campaigns
Step 8: Look After Your Customers
Some new business startups focus on winning more and more new customers, and they can sometimes forget to look after the customers they already have.
It is generally easier to earn more money from happy existing customers, than it is to win new customers.
If you provide a good service to your customers and keep them happy, they will often help market your new company for you by word-of-mouth referrals.
Now that you have a few points to consider when you are starting your own business, the first thing is to be confident in your own abilities and to make that leap and get going.
If you want to find out more about getting your company up-and-running quickly (and correctly), you can join our membership and learn from our experts.
We wish you all the best of luck in your new venture!
Do you know a friend, a family member or a colleague who has been talking about starting their own business? then please share this post so that it may help them.
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