Taking home based businesses online is essential if small business owners want to see increased sales growth. Thousands of WAHMs are discovering the power of taking their business to the web every month, and if you haven't done so yet, it's time to take that step. Here's how you do it.
Register a Domain Name
The first order of business is to register a name for your website. The domain name is simply the address that someone types into a web browser to go to a website (www.WAHM.com, for example). Unless your business name is already taken by someone else, you should try to register a domain name that is the actual name of your business or one that's close to it. Registered domain names help customers decide what are the legitimate home based businesses online. Once you purchase the domain name, there's a year fee to maintain it, usually less than $16 per year.
Register With a Web Hosting Site
Simply owning your domain name isn't enough. You have to also pay to have your site hosted on the web. This can either be through the same company that you purchased the domain name from, or another company entirely. You want to shop around to find the best hosting rates and services for your business. Hosting fees vary depending on your needs, but can start as low as $5 per month.
Static Page or Blog?
Would you rather advertise your products on a web page that remains the same every day, or a blog that's constantly updated and maintained? A static web page is one that lists your products or services, fees and other information. Once it's on the web, you leave it alone and allow customers to find it through other marketing efforts. Many home based businesses online are starting blogs to promote their businesses. These take more work, and are updated on a regular basis.
Create Your Website
How "hands-on" do you want to be with your business website? If you're familiar with blogging and web page development, you may want to create it yourself. Otherwise, you'll have to outsource it to someone who specializes in web page design. Make sure your website includes all of the information that you want your potential customers to have. List the services or products you provide, the fees you charge, how to contact you and any other information you want on the website. If you're selling products online, you'll want the page set up to take payments, either through PayPal or another payment system.
Launch Your Website
Once your website has all the features and information on it that you want the world to see, it's time to launch it. Your web hosting company can keep the site "parked" until that time. Consider issuing a press release on the day when your site launches. If you already have the email addresses of your previous clients, send out a mass email notifying them about your site. Make sure to add the domain name to your business cards as well.
Some of the best online businesses today are run by people who started out working from home. Taking traditional home-based businesses online takes time and effort, but it's worth it, because those businesses can then reach clients around the globe.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.