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FutureProof Digital

Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

Starting a Small Business? Your Digital To-Do-List

So you’ve decided to go for it. First up, congratulations! You’ve taken a massive step, a big high five for being brave and starting a small business. But now the hard work starts. Make a list of every item covered in this post that applies to your business (most will apply to every business). When you have ticked them all off your new business will be ready to take on the competition in the battle for rankings, likes, shares and ultimately customers.
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We use SiteGround for all our Web Hosting, we think you should to. Check them out...

We use SiteGround for all our Web Hosting

We think you should to. Check them out...

Small Business Digital Checklist

Your Business Name & Your Domain Name

The first starting a business job is choosing a name. Sometimes choosing a name for your business is easy; your name plus what you do, “Joe Bloggs Painting & Decorating,” for example. Other times it can be much more complicated and these days the name of your business doesn’t just appear on your shop sign or the side of your van it is all over the internet; your website and social media. It’s a difficult decision, so here are a few tips…

Here at FutureProof Digital we predominantly use use two domain providers; SiteGround & Hosting Ireland. We also use SiteGround for all client hosting.

If you are going with .com then SiteGround is good for hosting and domain. If you are choosing .ie then Hosting Ireland have an excellent user experience dashboard. I would still recommend SiteGround for hosting, regardless of the domain extension you choose.

Your Website

These days, choosing a platform to build your website is pretty much a no brainer… WordPress, it’s the only choice. If you are building it from scratch yourself WordPress offers the most user friendly interface available. If you intend to employ a web designer, choose one that works with WordPress, you will need to use the site after they have finished their work.

This post you are reading, the whole website in fact is built using WordPress, it literally has no limitations. If you can imagine it you can create it.

If you intend selling products, simply install the WooCommerce plugin and you instantly have an online store. Hotel or bed-and-breakfast? Extend WooCommerce with the Bookings plugin and you can take payment and a reserve room in minutes.

Search Engine Optimisation

You have spoken to your Local Enterprise Office, you have a domain name, web hosting and the start of a successful website what’s next? Easy… you need people to visit your site, and for some of those visitors to become customers. But I’m not going to lie, this is hard work and it can take a long time to rank for the keywords that matter to your business.

One of the first things that every new webmaster should do is install the Yoast SEO plugin on their website. It takes care of almost everything you can think of when it comes to optimising for the search engines.

While using Yoast SEO you will learn all the basics of optimization as you go via their grading system. The plugin analyses your content before telling what you have right and more importantly what you have wrong.

Setting Up Your Social Media Profile

Much internet wisdom will tell you that you should be on every social media platform, I’m sure this is what you’ve heard. Ok, maybe over a period of years, but for a start-up managing multiple accounts can become overwhelming.

When I first started out running social media for a small decorating company more that 10 years ago there was only really Facebook and Twitter, now there are hundreds of them.

I would suggest that for most small businesses and start-ups starting with just one, and adding platforms over time once you are comfortable with them is the way to go.

There is no point having a profile on 10 different social media platforms and spreading yourself so thin that none of them perform for you.

Start with Facebook. Get used to adding high quality image posts with informative content. Showcase your best work, advertise special offers and don’t forget to invite all of your friend to follow your page. Start using Twitter, and take it from there.

Digital Advertising - Google & Facebook Ads.

Every new website should start advertising on Facebook from day one and look to learn Google Ads or employ a professional shortly after. If your organic efforts on social media and in the search results are successful then over time you might be able to reduce your ad spend, or use it to expand.

Think of the difference between the 2 platforms as this…

Google Ads Target what a person searches in a given location.

Facebook Ads Target a particular type of person in any given location.

The links above are a great place to start. Read how we can help your business navigate the online advertising space or learn how to set up your first Goggle Ads campaign from scratch.

Hi, I’m Adam, thank you for being here at FutureProof Digital. We publish regular content including blog posts, guides, reviews and updates on our latest projects. To stay up to date with everything we publish, sign-up for the newsletter.

Adam @ FutureProof Digital

Thank you for reading this post, Starting a Small Business? Your Digital To-Do-List.

If you run a business and you need a website (pro tip = you do) or your current website doesn’t look the way you want it to, function the way it should or perform how you need it to, get in touch. I don’t charge a penny for consultation, so finding out about what your business needs and what can be achieved for your budget is completely free. Use this form… we can meet in person, have a phone or Skype call or use email, it’s up to you.