Going Through The Motions: Getting Your Business Online
Setting up a new company can be a frightening prospect.
From the reams of paperwork generated by Companies House to selecting a suitable accountant, the new entrepreneur’s responsibilities can seem interminable. Amongst all of this organisation and planning you also have the most important task of all – getting your company online.
The first challenge involves physically establishing an internet connection to your place of work. Home workers can use their existing Wi-Fi or broadband accounts, but new premises require new accounts to be created. In a freshly-constructed building, this involves Openreach (an arm’s-length division of BT) installing infrastructure to the nearest telephone exchange. Step two requires your chosen service provider to make a physical connection to Openreach’s wiring to activate the line. After that, there’s just the small matter of negotiating a new broadband contract…
Existing premises pose different problems. It’s not unheard of for a previous occupant to have cancelled their account but inadvertently left an active line behind. This can create the bizarre scenario whereby dialling “your” new number results in someone else picking up, because the line hasn’t been fully transferred. These remnant lines can also complicate the process of creating a new account at that address if providers can’t deactivate the existing line. Online review sites won’t paint any phone company in a particularly flattering light in such scenarios, though some firms are more notorious than others.
Having established a stable connection with the outside world, the next step in getting your fledgling company online involves creating and hosting a website. Providers like WordPress offer templates for basic websites which will typically contain little more than text and images. For more flamboyant or technical sites, a web design company may be a worthy port of call. Keep your online presence simple to begin with; concise and relevant content, reliability and rapid download times are more important than lavish transitions or video streams when it comes to establishing consumer confidence in unfamiliar websites.
Organising website hosting can be relatively straightforward, since web hosting companies like UK2 offer a variety of packages ranging from high-performance private cloud environments through to affordable dedicated servers and SSD powered virtual private servers. Rather than attempting to decide for yourself whether a bare metal server represents a better option than a private cloud, ask one of our experts for guidance. The world of virtual hosting can be difficult to comprehend, but it effectively involves a company such as UK2 storing the programming code for your website in a state-of-the-art data center. It’s our responsibility to ensure that this website is always accessible to members of the public when they type in the web address or click on a link.
Social media may not rank as highly on your priority list as a website or landline, but creating profiles for Facebook and Twitter is crucial for establishing a new business online. It can take time for search engines to acknowledge your company’s existence, so help things along by creating profiles on industry-specific portals whose ranking results often outstrip those of the companies they list. Set up Google Adwords and Bing Ads campaigns for paid listings beside search engine results, and use Google Analytics to identify words and phrases potential customers frequently search for.
Finally, once your company has a strong online presence, consider ways to publicise the phone number and web address. Meetings typically conclude with ceremonial exchanges of business cards, while adding contact details to social media accounts should be done as soon as possible. Check these accounts at least once a day – a tweet received on Friday can’t be ignored until Monday – and always respond to comments or enquiries.
Any serious business should have a reliable online hub; your website is where a large portion of your customers will first encounter your brand. Invest in the power behind the scenes to make that all-important first impression go as seamlessly as possible. Explore our web hosting solutions on our website: we offer dedicated server hosting, shared Linux hosting, virtual private servers and an array of personalised packages to suit your business’ needs.