Building a Small Business Website
Last month in the Sea Change article I recommended planning the purpose of your new business website – to see it in a number of phases and to built it progressively. This month I thought it would be useful to discuss how to find the right name for your website and hence business.
A website name needs to available, memorable, consistent with your busienss name and unique. If it is too similar to another site then you can lose visitors trying to find you. If it is different to your business name you’ll confuse people and they’ll have a difficult time finding you.
When I started publishing online info about where I was at markets I created a page in my communications/marketing website that provided the details. It was entitled “Belinda’s Beautiful Beads” and it served as an interim tool. I still have the page online as it has been picked up by directories and comes high in searches so I’ve linked it to www.creativelybelle.com.
This page met my initial needs before I’d decided on how far I was going to take my hobby, what business name I would trade under or any other serious details. As I already had a business website and I’m a website designer (by trade) it was easy for me to set up. But if you don’t have such a set up an alternative is simply to use one of the free website hosting packages that comes with many ISP’s. I use IHUG and they have a 10 megs free service that comes along with being a customer. Most of the other ISP’s have a similar offer. Do be aware though that this free service means they make their money by having other people’s advertisements showing on your homepage. These are good for interim solutions but not long term solutions.
So how do you pick a website name? It needs to be the same as your business name so when choosing a name make sure:
- it is available as a domain name (either .com or .com.au),
- is available to register as a business name in your state,
- meets your future plans for the business. For example, I initially was going for the name “Creatively Bella” – it was available online, it let me fulfil my future dreams of having a jewellery and homewares business, it would list high in alphabetical lists BUT it wasn’t available as a business name as someone else had registered with the Department of Fair Trading “Bella Creatives”.
SO, Creatively Belle ended up fitting all the criteria, especially as belle and bella both have the same meaning = beautiful. I spent months figuring out the name, I played with about 6 different names and variations until I came up with Creatively Belle and all the while, the ‘Belinda’s Beautiful Beads’ page served it’s interim purpose of providing market dates and locations details. So think before you jump, plan out what you want to achieve and check availability.