You may be a business genius, but every business needs technology. Technology underpins almost every company in the world. In this short article, we boil down the top 3 things you need to get your business off the ground.
A Business Website
First and foremost, you need an online presence so people can find your products and services. Websites are still very relevant in 2022 despite the vast trend of Social Media businesses. If you think about any company or enterprise, every one of them will have a website.
There are two options for building a website: self-build or hire a professional designer. Self-build is a very cost-effective way to obtain a website. You will find many online companies with drag-and-drop software that will create beautiful websites with minimal effort. It is a great way to get started quickly. However, hiring a designer is the way to go if your needs are more bespoke. Although the cost increases with custom design, you will have greater control over the look and feel.
One key web design aspect is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Your website needs to be optimised so Search Engines (Google, Bing) list you. In addition, your website needs to include keywords for your business. e.g. what words do you want to be found for in a Google search? Ignoring this will mean you have a beautiful website that no one can find, so it’s essential to get it right.
Self-build can start from as little as £50 per year, and bespoke designs between £299 and £10,000+. Search Engine Optimisation is something you can do yourself, or you can hire an expert to do the job for you.
A Note About Online Security
An area to be mindful of is the security and protection of data. An SSL Certificate will protect your website and encrypt data between the web server and the visitor. However, choosing an SSL Certificate appropriate for your business is an important consideration. For example, a simple blog with no login area or online payments could use a free SSL Certificate. Conversely, if you are capturing personal data or accepting online payments, you will need greater protection. Paid SSL Certificates come with a warranty (or insurance) that pays out if the SSL is compromised. Although SSL compromises are almost non-existent, you should always select one designed for the data you collect.
A Hosting Provider
Once you have created your beautiful website, you need somewhere to host it. Hosting is where the website sits and serves requests to your visitors. No one can access your business without it. Therefore, it is essential to source a reliable and high-performing hosting company.
Hosting comes with many extra features above homing your business website. Packages will include E-Mail, databases, and various software to enhance your website. However, the most critical aspect of hosting is availability and ensuring your website is online 100% of the time. Choosing a cheap hosting provider will cause you more pain than good, so don’t skimp when choosing.
Hosting prices range from £2.99 per month to £150+, depending on your needs. If your website is large and vital to your business growth, look carefully at the Service Level Agreements and support offerings. As mentioned above, reliability is critical.
For the larger business
If you are building a significant online presence and expecting high demand, consider the next level in hosting. Companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft offer hosting and features for the more substantial business. You can select dedicated virtual servers with defined resources to ensure your business can meet demand. These services do cost more, and you do need some technical expertise. However, the features and scalability make these service providers the ultimate choice for a serious business.
A Business Social Media Presence
Love it or hate it, you will need to complement your website with a social media presence. Social media is a great way to communicate your message to millions. Evolving will take some time, but it is essential to any business SEO strategy.
The usual haunts for social media are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. Of course, there are more, but these are key to getting noticed. Setting up is not hard, but you can hire experts to create your profiles if the task feels daunting. You can also hire people to help with building your community and brand. Regardless of how you make your social media presence, the most critical aspect is that you are social! Posting 2-3 times a week at a minimum is required to grab people’s attention. If your content is valuable, then this will get shared across the community and increase brand awareness.
There are many aspects that a business has to consider when building an online business. However, the above is the core of what is required to get started. If you need any help with more advanced configurations, contact the SaneChoice Team.