Being your own boss is great. You decide your own hours, you get to choose a company dress code and you get the satisfaction of creating something from the ground up. Admittedly, it’s not all plain sailing, but there are a whole host of reasons to start a new business.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have a business idea in mind. Perhaps you’ve found a gap in the market or are thinking of starting a Windows reseller hosting business. Whatever your idea, there are a few valuable tips that we’ve picked up over the years that could help. Take a look at Cyber Host Pro’s five top tips for startup businesses in 2017.
1. Website Hosting
Web users don’t want to wait around. A study found that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. If your website takes three seconds to load, expect 40% of people to abandon. Most startups can’t afford to lose just under half of their customers, so get the best web hosting you can afford. With quality website hosting services, your customers won’t be left waiting.
Better website hosting can have a direct impact on your business’ revenue, so this is not an area you should be looking to cut corners. A custom domain name and quick loading speeds will give your startup a professional image. Our UK VPS hosting services are popular among small businesses because they provide quick, reliable hosting in a cost-effective package.
If you opt for free hosting, there are a number of potentially harmful side effects. Firstly, your website could experience downtime if the servers are insufficient, meaning customers won’t be able to buy from you during that time. Free hosting also means that customer support is likely to be an afterthought for the hosting company: if you’re not paying, you’re probably not a priority customer.
Website hosting services from Cyber Host Pro are quick, reliable and all come with 24/7 customer support. Our business is helping your business to grow, so you’re in safe hands with our hosting packages.
2. Don’t Forget the Legal Stuff
We’d all love to start a business and forget about the admin side of things but, sadly, that’s impossible. Before you start trading, you should set up with Companies House and register for self-assessment to make sure you pay the right amount of tax. There are a number of governmental schemes that can help you with this side of things, so contact your local authority for more advice.
One of the main concerns for startups is money. Find yourself an accountant that will guide you through the process of recording your income and paying the right amount of tax. It might sound like an expensive option, but a good accountant could save you money in the long run.
3. Craft an Online Presence
Whether you operate on the high street or on the web, an online presence is essential. More people are accessing the internet than ever before, so this is a great way of attracting customers. Your website should be attractive and its message should be clear. Include a call to action on every page that will take your visitors one step closer to making a purchase. That could be as simple as “Call today to find out more” or a more enticing “20% off when you order today”.
We also recommend including a blog section on your website. Regular posting is great for search engine optimisation and it gives you a chance to show off your expertise. Great blog content will attract visitors, all of whom are potential customers. It also gives you material to post on your social media channels, which is another vital cog in the startup machine.
4. The Importance of Networking
Running a successful small business means having a wealth of contacts. You should never underestimate the power of networking; while many of us find these events awkward, they are invaluable for growing your business. Attend anything and everything you find: business lunches, evening talks and even chats relating to other industries. Building a diverse range of contacts means that your list of opportunities will be huge. Use websites like Find Networking Events to browse local meetups and grow your address book.
5. Know Your Competition
As a startup, it’s not just other small businesses that you need to keep an eye on. Competing with chain stores is a challenge, but it’s a battle you can win. Focus on what makes your business unique, whether that is expert advice or a personal tone of voice. It’s likely that you won’t be able to compete with chains on price, so focus on other areas to bring in the customers. One in five people shops with independent retailers more than they did a year ago, showing that demand for boutique cafes and clothes shops is growing.
For businesses that only operate online, your competition is likely to be greater. This means you need to find new ways of making sales, including search engine optimisation (SEO). Getting your website to the top of Google gives you a greater chance of making sales, so it’s worth investing time and effort into SEO. One factor that affects page rankings is loading speed, so using reliable website hosting services is essential.