Whether you make wedding cakes in your spare time, you’re a complementary therapist, a local family owned restaurant with years of experience or have a revolutionary idea that you want to develop, people need to be able to communicate with you.
In both business and in your person life there is very little these days that does not ask for a note of your email address. We’ve all seen the Barclays bank advert aimed at students looking for that first job and how little.miss.trouble@ might not create the right impression for a prospective employer. Well it’s the same for businesses.
Why spend money on your own domain when you can get an email account for free?
Imagine meeting a potential client for the first time and giving them your business card. Which one makes a better impression?
Sarah@spectacularweddingcakes.co.uk or email@example.com
Having a professional email address is important, it creates the right impression. It says “this is a professional business”. It helps build confidence in you.
How much does it cost?
When you buy your own domain, it can cost as little as £1 in the first year and straight away gives you a business email address.
You pay an annual fee for owning the domain, and as your business needs start to grow and you want to further developing your online presence there are usually additional hosting costs.
What’s my own domain and why is that important?
“A domain name locates an organization or other entity on the Internet” (Definition from Whatis.com).
In the example above the domain name is spectacularweddingcakes.co.uk. You cannot have your own professional email address without owning the domain, and when the time comes for your setting up your website you will need to own your own domain in order to have a location for your professional website.
Why can’t I use a free one just now and buy my own domain later?
No-one likes having to change their telephone number, it’s too much hassle! You have to let everyone know your change of number and then run both numbers for a while to make sure you don’t miss any calls or important messages.It’s the same problem when changing your email address. In this case for such a small amount it can save you a lot of hassle.
Some people have avoided the issue of changing by keeping their original email address from when they first started out. How professional does it look though to have a gmail email address (Sarah@spectacularweddingcakes.co.uk) and a business website www.spectacularweddingcakes.co.uk?
Accessing your business email
It’s true, accessing your business email that comes free with your domain can sometimes be a hassle to setup. But all of the services provide great guidance on how to set it up, step by step instructions, and once it’s done it’s there and easy to access on your mobile device, on your tablet or on your desktop or laptop.
With connectivity everywhere its no longer a case of if you need an online presence, it’s simply a case of when you set it up. Starting your business with a professional email address is just the first step.
What else can I do to create my online presence?
Money is always tight at the start of any business. An online presence may not seem like a high priority but there are a variety of free tools to help you get started. For instance:
- How often have you heard people say Google it? Get your business listed by Google, create a Google Business page, it’s free!
- Create a basic webpage which gives your business name, explains what you do and provides contact details. It’s the start of your website and can be developed later. Even if you know nothing about building websites there are a large number of free tools to help you. You don’t need to be a designer at this stage, just keep it simple.
Thanks for reading, and good luck with your new business. ParadigmIT will be developing information for new business in future blogs.