Souky Souky

Step Four: Build a Website

Starting a BusinessEllen Dittmar

Once you have your business name, you need to secure a domain space for your business to exist online. Basically, you need a website.

Now, there are MANY ways to build a website for your business:

  • You can hire a web designer to custom build your site.
  • You can use your tech savvy skills to DIY your site from scratch.
  • You can utilize the many tech-savvy companies that build website templates and then do the more simple customization yourself.

Obviously, if your business requires having the most professional looking and functioning website (and you have a spare $6,000-$10,000 laying around), hire a designer. No, it is not cheap, but you will end up with a website that you love and will not have the hassle of learning about widgets and SEO optimization. 

If you are like most people who are starting a business, money is a little tight. The idea of shelling out thousands of dollars on a designer is simply not an option. And, unless you have a background in coding, building a website is equally unfeasible. At this stage, you might feel like giving up -- everything is expensive and/or overwhelming. But don't! There is hope!

Lucky for you it is 2017 and there are literally hundreds of ways you can build your own website without spending a fortune or knowing anything about coding. I couldn't possibly list all the ways but a quick little google search will lead you to many, many options. Obviously, you want to consider how you will be using your website. Will you be selling goods directly from the site? Or will you be using it more as a way to advertise your services/products? If you are doing the former you definitely want to make sure the website is e-commerce compatible (I have heard Shopify is a good platform for these types of businesses). I definitely can't speak for all of them, but I have had first-hand experience using WordPress.org and Squarespace.

They are both great in their own ways, but for the user-friendliness alone...I have to give the award to Squarespace. Seriously, if you want to build a great website with very little trouble or money...don't overthink it...use Squarespace. They will walk you through the whole process and their customer service team is VERY helpful! Oh...yeah...and it is super affordable. Plus, they give you a free 2-week trial Win-win.

At this stage, you might think it is a little backwards to start building a website before you have even wrote a business plan or sourced your products. I mean, you probably don't even have anything to put on your website (like a logo or products or photographs etc...). I would say, build it anyway. For two reasons: 1. You want to reserve the domain space that is associated with your business name. Having an online presence that matches your business name is pretty essential. 2. You will need time to get familiar with the back-end of your website and all of its many features. Starting now will give you some time to play around with everything, long before you are ready to go live.

Plus, it is kinda fun! Building your website also builds excitement. It takes your dream, that up until this point has been living solely in your head, and turns it into something tangible and real.

So...what are you waiting for? Go build yourself a website.