So you have a business name, EIN, and business license, now what? Entrepreneurs often ask me how they can get their startups off and running with professional level advertising, collateral, and equipment and maintain low operating costs. This article will give you some great tips on how to make your business more visible to your target market, and thereby legitimizing your presence in the market which make you business more profitable.
The first step is to getting a website. Expensive, right? Not necessarily. A little known website that promotes small businesses in each state is www.gybo.com. This site is sponsored by Homestead which is one of the most user friendly web hosting sites out there. You can pick any domain name as long as it’s available, and have a site up in as little as an hour. Remember that most new businesses do not need the extra fancy, interactive sites with member only access, gaming tools, or even flash creation. This a simple way to have a professional site that with tons of FREE images that you can add to your site. Not only are the sites free for the first year (plenty of time for you to get your money together for all of the fancy site upgrades that you’ll want later), it’s only $4.99 a year with the basic package.
Tons of businesses have websites but what can really set a new business apart is an e-mail address! While it is great to use email providers like Yahoo! and Gmail, having an email address with your business name can make a huge difference in the way your potential customers view your business. Compare the sound of “Please contact us at email@example.com” and my business team will get back to you,” to “Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.” In addition you can tell those you network with to e-mail you at your own personal address; perhaps, JWAlexander@beloda.com. Again, sounds expensive, right? Not really. There are great sites out there like Zoho.com that have hosted e-mail for users. Even more importantly they are free for up to 3 users. So in case you have a business partner or employee you can make an account for him or her (email@example.com) and he or she will feel like part of your team.
To put this all together, you need the basic tool of any networking professional…business cards. Now that you have your official site and e-mail, go to a place like Vista Print and open a new account with your new e-mail address. Design a basic business card (no need to go extra fancy right now) and make sure that you put your new web address and e-mail address on your card. Many times websites like Vista Print offer free business cards and other printed collateral that will help you present the best impression of your business to the world. Remember, when it comes to business and success, perception is reality! Good luck