A common question I get asked is “Where do I start when starting a business?” – Now I may not have all the answers, but from an online perspective, this method will set your business up for online success from day one!
The following 3 steps for online success for your business are:
Before you do anything, research the business names you have thought of for your business. Why? There are a few reasons.
First, someone may have used it before you and has already bought the domain name, meaning you can’t have that domain name.
In other cases you may find your domain name is very similar to a dodgy website which could give your business a bad name.
Now do you see why research is super important before registering you business?
Research domain providers. You can purchase a domain from GoDaddy or Melbourne-based VentraIP. Although, you can also go directly to Wix, SquareSpace or Shopify, if you plan to use them for your first business website.
Also, while on the subject of online platforms, research which platforms suit your marketing budget for business. The intuitive “build-it-yourself” platforms are great for new business owners to get their business live.
Same as above. Is the business name you want available on social media? Go search for it in a search engine or across social media channels. Also, remember to research what social media platforms your audience use – are you marketing on the right platform?
Register Your Business
ABN & ASIC
If your based in Australia there are a few places you need to register your business name with before buying your domain or setting up your socials – and that is registering it with the Government.
First up is your ABN (or Australian Business Number). It’s free to register for all Australian-based businesses and allows the Australian Tax Office assess how much to charge you with tax per year.
Note, a recent condition has been added to eligibility for an ABN. This is to have a Super Fund. The ATO has provided resources to accommodate for this change. And if your anything like me and want to support female entrepreneurs, here are some great options to consider – Verve, GigSuper or FairVine.
Second is ASIC (or Australian Securities and Investments Commission). This is to register your business name and gives you the rights to use this business name in Australia.
Note, there is a small annual fee to register your business name – but if you’re for real about starting your business, you need to have this set up!
Next step is finding a domain name that matches your business name. Just like ASIC, you want to register your business, but online this time – which is essentially what a domain is here to do.
If direct, jump right into the site build and design. Website creators like Wix and Shopify go through a step-by-step set up, so once on that rollercoaster don’t get off until it’s done (usually a couple of hours).
If you buy a domain from a provider like GoDaddy or VentraIP, they usually have information “how-to” documents to walk you through the set-up, to help you link your domain to your hosting service and website.
Or if your hiring a website designer/ developer send them these details so they can do this for you (because why do it yourself, when you’ve got someone who’s experience to set it up for you?).
Okay, now we’re all set up from a legal perspective, and have a domain name (*high-five*), lets lock in your social media platform names.
Go to the apps you want to promote your business on and start the registration process. Again, you want to make sure the name your registering for your social media channels is the same as your registered business name (this gives your business the SEO boost I was talking about earlier).
Get it live
The final part of this process is to get all of this live!
Now that you have a domain name registered, it’s now time to connect it to an online platform (if you haven’t already). When choosing the right platform go back to your research, and evaluate which platform suits your business needs and goals.
Once you’ve chosen a platform, start the set up process. Add your business content and publish it live!
Now that your website is live, copy the url (a.k.a your domain name) and paste it into your social media platforms “website” location. Usually located under the “profile” area.
While in the profile location, review your company description. Is it the same as what is on your website? Make sure this content is consistent with your messaging on other online platforms.
This is great so your customers understand what you do, but it’s also great for search engines to understand what you do too. Once understood they will rank your business accordingly when being searched on Google for your businesses products/ services.
Next, make sure your business has consistent brand colours, imagery, or other content like your website, so your customer can easily make the link between the two when viewing either platform.
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