How To Make Your Business Look Professional Online

Web Goddess Blog

If you’re just starting a new business, everything you need to do can feel a little overwhelming. What do you do first and what actually matters the most? Well, the biggest mistake we see businesses make time and time again is not giving enough thought to how to look professional online – and offline for that matter!

Thinking that doing things on the cheap to begin with will save you money can actually impact your bottom line in ways you may not realise. And that’s what this quick guide is about.

Why does looking professional online matter?

Your competition is everywhere! These days it is the small differences and attention to detail that will help you stand out from your competitors and by investing in your professional image you will instantly gain the upper hand.

Thankfully, we’ve been there ourselves and helped dozens of new businesses make decisions that ultimately improved their professional business image online.

Get it right from the start

Investing a little time and money and doing things in the right order can have a huge impact on your business. It may not be instantly measurable, but first impressions really do count.

So, these are the five things we recommend you get right from the start. Yes, they are an investment but they will really help you look more professional. And by giving the right impression you will soon bring in more than enough revenue to cover the initial costs.

#1 Professional Branding

Nothing turns off a potential customer more than a business without clear branding. Whilst you may not want to spend thousands or even hundreds on a brand when you start your business, having a business name, a proper message and thinking about your digital and printed assets is key to looking professional.

And don’t think that branding is only about your logo – that’s just one part of your brand! So investing in some help to get this right can pay off in the long run.

DIY Investment from £0
Professional Investment from £250 for a logo

#2 Domain Name

Once you have chosen your business name, registering a domain is a great step. My favourite company to register a domain with here in the UK is 123-Reg as they are simple to use and easy to manage.

When choosing a domain name think about your users – it should be easy to type in and not too long. If your company name is a long one, you could try to abbreviate it, but avoid using hyphens if possible as these are difficult for users to type in, especially on mobile.

The best bit is that you don’t even have to build a website straight away, but by grabbing your domain name you will prevent anyone else from taking it first. Just note that there really is no need to buy lots of different variations of the same name – this was popular a decade ago but has little impact now (except for costing you a lot of money each year).

 Approximate Investment £15 – £30

#3 Website

This is your online business home and having a website makes you look so much more professional than having social media accounts alone. I’ve written before on why your business really needs a website and it is so important both in terms of professionalism but also for visibility. There are people out there who don’t use social media and if they rely on search engines such as Google you will be missing a big chunk of the market.

You can build your own website using a platform such as Wix (we recommend this for DIY as it is one of the simplest to use) using your newly created branding and domain name and you’re ready to go. You’ll need to put in some proper graft to ensure your site doesn’t look like your 10-year-old niece built it (although saying that – I have seen a 10-year-old build a pretty decent site), but with a bit of time and a willingness to learn you can build something professional that matches your business brand.

Whether you get a professional to build it for you or you do it yourself, please make sure you pay for the annual hosting that removes the ‘built with Wix’ or other platform advertising – nothing looks more unprofessional than this!

DIY Investment from £110
Professional Investment from £750

#4 Email Address

Whatever you do, please invest in a proper email address. When you register a domain name you can then get an email address that looks professional – like hello@[yourcompany]. This looks infinitely more professional than a free Gmail or Outlook email.

It may not seem like something you need to invest in straight away, but you will be taken far more seriously if you have a professional email. It will help you build trust with clients and make it easier to contact you too.

Approximate Investment: £60pa

#5 Marketing Assets

With your branding en pointe, domain name purchased, website ready to go and professional email address sorted, you are ready to start creating some marketing assets for your business.

Why do you need all of these other bits done first? Because you can use them in your marketing! Send people to the right website or email address from day 1 and you will never have to remember to update anything.

Marketing assets fall into two categories: printed assets (like business cards, brochures, flyers and even branded workwear) and digital assets (like social media posts, advertisements and banners).

When creating these, a good graphic designer is priceless, but you can get started on your own using an online tool like Canva. Here are 10 reasons to use Canva and you can tell that we love it. In fact, apart from our printed assets, we use Canva for pretty much everything else.

DIY Investment from £0

The final cost…

Your initial investment can range anywhere from under £200 for the complete DIY route to a few thousand if you want to hire professionals for everything. But remember, it’s not a COST – it’s an INVESTMENT. Creating a great professional image online (and offline) will pay for itself in the long run. And, because you are running a business, you can claim any expenses against your business.

So, get ahead of your competition and get these five things done right when you start your business!

Web Goddess

Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About the Author

Holly Hinton, aka the Web Goddess, has run multiple small businesses since 2003 so she knows a thing or two about setting up from scratch. Today she helps service-based businesses get found online for all the right reasons.  Connect with Web Goddess on LinkedIn.

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