Low-cost ways to get your business online quickly

If you need to get your business idea off the ground as soon as possible, existing online is key to your success.

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The internet is where customers go to search for products and services, read reviews, and spend their hard-earned cash.

 

With the rise of money saving DIY website builders and business-focused social media accounts, aspirant entrepreneurs can take their business idea online in a matter of hours – and without breaking the bank.

 

Beyond a website, there are several other, low-cost ways for small businesses to expand their online presence, including social media, WhatsApp business, blogs, email marketing, and Google My Business. “A website is really just the first – and most important – step of the process of getting online. From here, online tools give you the power to define and reach your niche audience, though targeted campaigns and tailored content,” says Thomas Vollrath, head of local web-hosting company 1-grid.com

 

The first step in setting up a website is registering a domain name that represents your business. Using a domain search tool, business owners can quickly and easily confirm that their business name is available. With over 1.3-million registrations countrywide, the .co.za domain extension is the most popular choice for local businesses, since search engines recognise that these websites are specific to a South African audience.

 

“For any new business owner, a digital presence is non-negotiable. With its range of free, user-friendly tools, the internet is your best friend when it comes to everything from advertising to managing payments – especially if you have a limited budget. Your first starting point should be a website, which will form the central hub of your online activity.”

 

A DIY site builder is often the simplest and most affordable way to create a functional website – particularly if you don’t have in-depth coding skills. To speed up the process even further, many platforms offer templates and pre-made themes that can be applied and customised to your specific offering with the click of a button.

 

Last year, over 36-million South Africans used a mobile device – including smartphones and tablets – highlighting the importance of mobile optimisation. When choosing a web builder to set up your site, make sure it offers a mobile-centric design and build elements. The availability of additional applications and integrations available through the builder should also be considered, based on the product or service being provided.

 

“Those offering yoga lessons or dog grooming services, may need to setup a scheduling function, like our newly launched, Go Connect function, which allows customers to book appointments directly via a business’s website, to streamline the customer experience,” says Vollrath.

 

When planning your online presence, take the time to understand which business goals you’re trying to achieve with your digital channels; “Whether its generating leads, selling products, providing a platform to interact with customers, or simply brand building. From here, you can make an informed decision about which platforms to put your time and effort into,” says Vollrath.

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1-grid.com provides SMBs with everything they need to start their business and grow it online – from company and domain registrations, web and email hosting, and web security packages, to drag-and-drop DIY website builders. For more information visit www.1-grid.com.

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